The Limping Child (Perthes disease)

Authors: Fiona Mendes / Editor: Yasmin Sultan / Reviewer: Fiona Mendes / Codes: / Published: 21/02/2024

An active 6-year-old boy re-attends your emergency department (ED) with a limping gait, developing over the past three weeks. He usually enjoys playing football daily but has been playing less due to poorly localised left leg pain. There has been no known trauma.

He was seen last week with left knee pain. He had a normal left knee examination, so was discharged home and advised to return if his symptoms persisted.

Today he has left hip pain and groin tenderness with a left limping gait.

There is no other pain or bony tenderness. No bruises or open wounds. He is otherwise well in himself. A pelvis and hip x-ray is performed. The radiographer calls and informs you that the images indicate Legg-Calv-Perthes disease (LCPD).

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