The epidemiology and etiology of Perthes disease

Orthop Clin North Am. 2011 Jul;42(3):279-83, v. doi: 10.1016/j.ocl.2011.03.002. Epub 2011 May 12.


The incidence of Perthes disease varies markedly both between countries and within countries down to a local level. The disease is more common in white than in Asian or black African children. The disease is associated with deprivation; with a steep disease gradient across social class groups. This epidemiology alongside the lack of concordance in twins suggests a strong environmental etiology, with little evidence to suggest a genetic predisposition. Children are frequently short, with a growth pattern described as "rostral-sparing". A propensity to associated congenital anomalies suggests an intrauterine cause.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease / epidemiology*
  • Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease / etiology*
  • Morbidity / trends
  • Risk Factors