• The top of the femur, called the ball, doesn’t receive enough blood
  • Affects the hip, where the thighbone (femur) and pelvis meet
  • Lack of blood damages the bone and can deform it permanently


  • Knee pain
  • Groin pain
  • Reduced muscle strength in the thigh
  • A decreased range of motion
  • Shortening of the affected leg
  • Limping
  • Pain or stiffness in the hip, groin, thigh or knee
  • Limited range of motion of the hip joint
  • Muscle loss in the upper thigh


  • When too little blood is supplied to the ball portion of the hip joint
  • Without an adequate blood supply, this bone becomes unstable
  • May break easily and heal poorly
  • Underlying cause of the reduction in blood flow is still unknown

Risk Factors

  • More common in males
  • Commonly occurs between ages 4 and 10
  • Family History of the disease
  • Caucasian

Diagnostic Tests

  • A physical exam
  • X-rays
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Bone scan


Physical Therapy:

  • Stretching to increase flexibility
  • Exercising to improve strength
  • Using temporary leg casts
  • Using crutches
  • Getting short-term bed rest for severe pain


  • Contracture release
  • Joint realignment
  • Removal of excess bone or loose bodies
  • Joint replacement


  • Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol, others)

Lifestyle Management

  • Avoid high-impact activities, such as running or jumping
  • Hot packs or ice may help relieve hip pain
  • Pain Medications
  • Use heat before stretching exercises to help loosen tight muscles
  • Early intervention will help treat the disease
  • Exercise Regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight