Background: Treatment of Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease (LCPD) aims to preserve the spherical shape of the femoral head. The deformity index (DI) <0.3, measured 2 years from disease onset, is a surrogate measure that predicts that the femoral head will be Stulberg class I or II at skeletal maturity. There is no study that compares the predictive value of DI against a quantitative measure of the shape of the femoral head when the disease heals. We undertook this study to assess the reproducibility of a new method of measurement of DI and see if DI could predict the shape of the femoral head when the disease healed. Methods: DI was measured 2 years after disease onset and the Sphericity Deviation Score (SDS) was measured at healing of LCPD on radiographs of 43 children. Reproducibility of measurement was tested. Each healed femoral head was classified as spherical or aspherical based on subjective visual assessment. The DI values were compared with SDS values. Results: The reproducibility of measurement of SDS was excellent and superior to that of DI. The mean duration of disease was 3.97 ± 0.96 years. Only 17 of 32 hips with DI values <0.3 at 2 years had spherical femoral heads at healing (SDS <10). Three hips with SDS values <10 had DI values > 0.3. The positive and negative predictive values of a DI <0.3 in predicting if the femoral head will be spherical (SDS <10) when the disease healed were 53% and 73%, respectively. Conclusion: Though DI can be reproducibly measured the predictive value of a DI <0.3, to accurately identify hips that are likely to heal with spherical femoral heads, is not sufficiently high to justify its use as an outcome measure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine