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Perthes Disease

What is Perthes Disease?

The disease is caused when a reduced blood supply to the head of femur (the ball shaped top of the thigh bone) causes it to soften and become flattened or misshaped. It occurs in childhood as the bones are developing.


There are various symptoms which may include: Pain in the affected hip which may radiate to the thigh or knee, stiffness in the affected hip, a limp on the affected side, a leg length discrepancywhere the leg on the affected side appears shorter. In adults, if the shape of the head of femur does not completely re-form there may be a persistence of the leg length discrepancy and the hip may develop osteoarthritis.


In children, orthotic treatment can be very involved and may require the use of:

• Weight relieving Knee Ankle Foot Orthosis to allow the child to walk without putting any load through the hip.

In adults, treatment will typically be to address theleg length discrepancy using:

Shoe raise adaptation.