The onset of Legg-Calve-Perthes disease occurs during childhood, and is five times more common in boys than girls. The condition affects the hip, where the thighbone (femur) and pelvis meet the acetabulum in a ball-and-socket joint. The initial signs and symptoms usually include limping, pain and stiffness in the hips. So if your child complains of hip pain or limited motion, it's definitely worth checking out with a doctor or specialist. The condition is treatable, but time is of the essence!
So how does Perthes disease work?
The head of the femur comes in different shapes and sizes. Some femurs resemble a mushroom, some are narrow and rigid, and others are flatter. But it’s just not the femoral head that can vary. The acetabulum (the socket part) itself can be abnormal, which adds to the problem.
Perthes is a structural disease, which means it often requires surgery. Hip surgery can involve shaving the head of the femur and the acetabulum itself to create a more perfect joint and socket union. Severe cases of Perthes in older children may require leg casts in an abduction position (legs separated from each other), so the head of the femur sits perfectly in the socket while it heals correctly. Other options can include doing a femoral osteotomy to older patients that suffered the disease during adolescence and still have the deformity of head of the femur. Left untreated, children with Perthes disease often develop arthritis of the hip. So treatment early on is in the child's best interests.
Myotherapy can help patients post-surgery, rebuilding the muscles and preventing muscle loss with the help of correctional exercises. Hands-on treatment to the hip and surrounding muscles close to the hip can also be beneficial to the post-surgery recovery and pain management. As with any kinds of surgery or injury, there may be a build up of scar tissue which may restrict range of motion of the hip. Myotherapy is an excellent option for improving post-surgery mobility.
Have you or your child suffered from Legg-Calve-Perthes disease? Do you experience ongoing pain as a result? If so, book in to see a Myotherapist today!