Legg-Valve-Perthes disease is a condition that can affect the hips. It is considered to be a childhood disease. The ball part of your hip is affected when you have this condition. This area of the bone starts to die as the result of an interruption in blood flow. It is critical that the flow of blood is restored as quickly as possible. Over time, the ball of the joint can fracture and weaken. Treatment aims to prevent this from happening and keeping the ball as round as possible. If you or your child have this condition, you want to ensure that you understand the basics and what treatment might entail.
Getting an Accurate Diagnosis
Before your doctor can get started with treatment, it is critical that you first have an accurate diagnosis. A physical exam of the offending hip and imaging tests are commonly performed to diagnose this condition. Regular X-rays can be beneficial to look at the bones and see if the disease is progressing. A bone scan can show areas where the bone is rapidly rebuilding and breaking down. Magnetic resonance imaging is another option your doctor might consider. This gives your doctor a look at the soft tissues and bones to determine if there is any bone damage present that is characteristic of this condition.
Therapy Treatment Options
When you or your child have this condition, your doctor might recommend different therapy options for you to consider. The most popular options include:
- Crutches to help reduce your pain by taking some weight off of the affected hip.
- Casts to help ensure that the head of the joint remains in the socket. After wearing a cast for four to six weeks, it is common to graduate to a more flexible brace.
- Physical therapy is a popular option that works to keep the soft tissues flexible. This helps to reduce the risk of the ligaments and muscles that surround the joint becoming shorter.
- Traction is another option that your doctor might recommend to help alleviate severe pain.
Surgical Treatment Options
- There are certain surgical options your doctor might discuss with you that can help to improve your quality of life, including:
- Joint realignment to help ensure your hip joint has a normal shape.
- Joint replacement to remove a damaged hip joint and put a new one in its place.
- Contracture release to alleviate any soft tissue contractures.
- Removing loose bodies or excess bone
A hip specialist can help you to get an accurate diagnosis and determine the best treatment plan for you. If you are diagnosed with this condition, make sure that you understand what it entails so that you can properly advocate for your medical care. If you would like to request a consultation with one of the orthopedic experts at OSI, please call (920) 560-1000 or request an appointment online.
The Orthopedic & Sports Institute has convenient locations to serve you. In addition to the flagship facility in Appleton, you will find outreach clinics in New London, Ripon, Shawano, Waupaca, and the newest location inside the NOVO Health Clinic in De Pere.