Among the severe and rare childhood diseases, this disease is one of the first places. It requires considerable patience of the parents, as well as serious and long-term treatment. Therefore, it is important to understand what constitutes Perthes’ hip joint disease in children, its causes and main symptoms, and what methods of treatment exist today.
What is Perthes disease
Most often it affects boys aged 3 to 15 years. Usually, the process is one-sided (in most cases, the right leg suffers). Only in 5% of cases both hip joints are affected. Girls suffer less often. But nevertheless at girls this illness proceeds in more difficult form and comes to an end with physical inability.
Causes of disease
Doctors do not have a common opinion about the causes of this disease.
Most likely, it can be:
- Injuries to the hip bone (contusion, sprain);
- Infections (synovitis of the hip joint, pharyngitis, sinusitis, flu);
- Hormonal imbalance in adolescence;
- Hereditary predisposition;
- Endocrine diseases;
- Rickets transferred at an early age;
- Severe form of avitaminosis;
- Tendency to allergic diseases.
- Low birth weight (up to 3 kilograms);
- Congenital hereditary myelodysplasia (impaired spinal cord development);
- Hypotrophy (chronic eating and digestion disorders in babies).
Symptoms and stages
Immediately you can not guess that the child is sick. At first he begins to limp a little, not feeling pain. Later, aching pains in the knee and hip occur, muscle tone in the buttock area decreases, sweating, chills and wrinkling of the feet increase.
Then the body temperature suddenly rises and there are sharp pains in the hip, the child is almost unable to walk without support or support.
In more detail all the stages and symptoms of osteochondropathy of the femoral head are shown in the table.
Diagnosis and treatment
The main methods for diagnosing osteochondropathy of the hip joint are x-ray and ultrasound. But they are uninformative at the first stage.
In the early stages, computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are promising, making it possible to study in detail the state and possible changes in the structure of the neck and head of the femur bone.
The main goals of treatment are:
- Activation of resorption of dead bone tissue;
- Stimulate better blood circulation in the joint;
- Increased tone of the weakened thigh muscles;
- Correction of the structure of the affected joint and approach to the normal anatomical position.
For the treatment of conduct such activities:
- Placement of the femoral head in the acetabulum using orthopedic devices (tires Mirzoyeva or Vilna; plaster dressings Lange or coxitis dressings; plaster, cuff or skeletal traction).
- Manual therapy (gymnastics, physiotherapy, massage).
- Drug treatment (chondroprotectors, osteoprotectors).
- Surgical intervention (applied at the II or III stages in order to improve the blood supply in the hip joint and eliminate the disorders that occurred after deformation of the femoral head).
- Usually, therapy takes a fairly long period – from 3 to 4 years.
- The treatment shows bed rest, walking only with crutches and regular observation by an orthopedist.
- Early diagnosis and treatment is a guarantee that the child will be able to lead a normal, habitual way of life, although physical activity and work on his feet are absolutely contraindicated even after complete recovery.
- If the child, after any previous illness, began to limp, it is necessary to consult a qualified orthopedist and undergo an ultrasound examination of the hip joint and, if necessary, an additional CT scan or MRI, in order to rule out the possibility of Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.
Legg-Calvet-Perthes disease in children – video
The main causes, symptoms and methods of treating osteochondropathy of the femoral head in children are described in the following video.
In conclusion, it is worth paying attention once again to the fact that the treatment of children with this disease is more successful when it is diagnosed in the early stages. With each day and month of development of the process, the methods of therapy become more complicated, and the effectiveness of late treatment decreases.
Therefore, it is worth being vigilant and noticing even the slightest changes in the child’s gait and in such cases not to postpone an urgent visit to the orthopedist.