Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hip FAQ

Question:

When our son was much younger, he was diagnosed with Perthes disease. He was treated and everything seemed okay. Now that he's older (26-years old) it looks like he has some more hip problems. Now it's a deformed hip socket. Why didn't they fix this when he was a child?

Answer:

Perthes disease (also known as Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome) is a degenerative disease of the hip joint. There is a loss of blood supply and bone mass to the blood supply of the head of the femur (thigh bone) close to the hip joint. Without proper treatment, collapse of the femoral head can occur. Deformity in this area may lead to osteoarthritis in adults. More recently, it was discovered that changes also occur in the shape and angle of the acetabulum. The condition is called acetabular retroversion. The acetabulum is the hip socket. Retroversion refers to the changes in orientation of the socket. Apparently, these changes don't occur during childhood. They develop after skeletal maturity is completed. Researchers are just beginning to pay closer attention to this feature in adults who had Perthes as a child. Studies will be done to find out ways to keep it from happening. Wudbhav N. Sankar, MD, and John M. Flynn, MD. The Development of Acetabular Retroversion in Children With Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease. In Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. June 2008. Vol. 28. No. 4. Pp. 440-443.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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