When you become a parent, you make it your primary goal and objective to ensure that your child is as healthy and well-cared for as possible. As such, you make going to the pediatrician a regular part of your routine and do everything you can to protect and care for your child. However, sometimes there are conditions that you cannot prevent but can only treat and help with once they are discovered. Perthes disease (also known as Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease) is one such condition. Get to know more about Perthes disease so that you better support and care for your child if they are diagnosed with this hip disorder.
What Is Perthes Disease?
Perthes disease is a condition of the hip that only affects children. When a child is suffering from Perthes disease, the head of their femur that meets with the pelvis in the hip joint does not receive sufficient blood flow to properly nourish the bone and joint.
When there is not enough blood to support and the femoral head, the bone begins to break down and soften. This can result in serious skeletal problems for your child and may affect their growth, ability to walk and stand, and the like if not appropriately addressed.
How Can You Tell If Your Child Has Perthes Disease?
Oftentimes, the first signs of Perthes disease in children has to do with their walking and their gait. If your child is constantly limping, without an injury to justify the symptom, there is a possibility that they are suffering from Perthes disease.
Your child may also complain of pain in their hip region, particularly after walking or trying to play or run around. They may also develop pain in their knees and other areas of the leg because they are instinctively trying to compensate for the problems they are experiencing their hip joint.
Diagnosing the disorder involves various tests and scans. These include X-rays, an MRI, and detailed bone scans. Once your child's pediatrician or pediatric orthopedist analyzes the images taken, they can determine whether or not Perthes disease is the cause of their symptoms.
How Is Perthes Disease Treated?
Once your child receives a Perthes disease diagnosis, the next step is to help them overcome this condition. If your child is quite young such as in the toddler years, their doctor may recommend monitoring to see if the blood supply restores itself naturally.
However, if the deterioration of the femur is more advanced, it may be necessary to go through additional treatments. Some of these options include medications for the pain associated with the joint damage as well as bed rest.
Your child may also need crutches or special braces to promote blood flow and prevent the joint from moving in ways that blocks the flow of blood to the hip joint. And if the condition continues to worsen in spite of these treatments, your child may need surgery to remedy the situation. Surgery involves adding screws or metal plates into the hip joint to keep the area open to blood flow and nourishment.
Now that you know more about Perthes disease, you can be sure to take proper care of your child should they show signs of this rare condition now or in the near future. For more information, speak with professionals like Lawrenceville Pediatrics.
As an adult in my 50s, I find that my body isn't as strong as it used to be. But I don't let that stop me from enjoying life! In fact, I make every effort to get the treatments I need from my doctor to improve my health. I know that I'm not a senior yet, but I do all I can to prevent the health problems that affect that age group. Because of this, I put together a health blog for people over age 50. My blog isn't a review of what you can easily find on the Internet. It's a plethora of unique information designed to help you find the services you need fast. What my blog doesn't do is tell you what to do for your health. Instead, it offers guidance and options. Please, enjoy the blog and happy reading.