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The presentation of Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease in females.

PURPOSE: Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease (LCPD) is uncommon in girls. The presentation of LCPD in female patients has been reported as later in onset and associated with certain high-impact activities. Our aim is to characterize the presentation of female LCPD at a large center, with particular attention to the clinical and radiographic features of late-onset disease (>ten years of age). We perceived an increasing burden of late-onset disease with adult-like radiographic features.

METHODS: All patients presenting to a single large urban children's hospital from 1990-2014 with a diagnosis of LCPD were reviewed. Demographic, clinical, and radiographic data for all female patients were examined and compared to historical norms.

RESULTS: Four-hundred and fifty-one patients presented with LCPD in the study period, of which 82 (18.2 %) were female. The average age at presentation was 6.58 years in girls, which is similar to the classically reported mean age. Fourteen patients participated in high-impact repetitive activities or those with deep flexion and abduction, although few were late presenters. There were four female patients who presented for initial diagnosis >ten years of age.

CONCLUSIONS: There was a paucity of late-onset LCPD in girls in the study population, and the females with LCPD had a very similar age and character to their presentation as did males. Although their presentation is infrequent, three of four older females with LCPD were engaged in high-level physical activity, and their disease may be attributed to high-impact, repetitive athletics.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Case series, Level IV.

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