Kristoff, the Kitten, and Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease

Kristoff, an approximately 5 month old kitten, was found as a stray with a limp and brought into Animal Care Center of Plainfield. This kitten was non-weight bearing on his left hindlimb. X-rays showed that Kristoff either had a rare condition called Legg-Calve-Perthes disease or possibly an old fracture to the joint. It is likely that Kristoff’s leg had been damaged for a long time and he had adjusted to not using it.

Legg-Calve-Perthes is a disease where avascular necrosis causes the head and neck of the femur bone of the hip to be eaten away. The blood supply of the bone becomes compromised and the bone will appear “moth-eaten” or similar in shape to an apple core on an x-ray. It is suspected to be caused by a genetic component and is more commonly found in small dogs.

For Kristoff’s comfort, a femoral head and neck ostectomy (FHO) surgery was performed. This is a surgery that removes the femoral head and neck of the hip joint (the “ball” of the ball-and-socket part of the joint). The animal then forms a pseudo joint with scar tissue and can walk comfortably. This surgery is performed for any condition that compromises the integrity of the hip joint – including fractures, persistent dislocation, severe hip dysplasia, or in Kristoff’s case, Legg-Calve-Perthes disease.

Kristoff was given some TLC in hospital as he was recovering from his surgery and soon started to use the limb normally. Kristoff is now in a loving, adoptive home!