Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

During the physical exam, your doctor may move your child's legs into various positions to check range of motion and to see if any of the positions cause pain.

Imaging tests

These types of tests are vital to the diagnosis of Legg-Calve-Perthes disease and may include:

  • X-rays. Initial X-rays may look normal because it can take one to two months after symptoms begin for the damage associated with Legg-Calve-Perthes disease to become evident on X-rays. Your doctor will likely recommend several X-rays over time, to track the progression of the disease.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This technology uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce very detailed images of bone and soft tissue inside the body. MRIs often can visualize bone damage caused by Legg-Calve-Perthes disease more clearly than X-rays can.
  • Bone scan. In this test, a small amount of radioactive material is injected into a vein. The material is attracted to areas where bone is rapidly breaking down and rebuilding itself, so these areas show up on the resulting scan images.
May. 30, 2014

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