Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 470, Issue 9, pp 2421–2430

What Is the Evidence Supporting the Prevention of Osteoarthritis and Improved Femoral Coverage After Shelf Procedure for Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease?

  • Jason E. Hsu
  • Keith D. Baldwin
  • Moritz Tannast
  • Harish Hosalkar
Symposium: Legg-Calvé-Perthes Disease: Where Do We Stand After 100 Years?

DOI: 10.1007/s11999-011-2220-4

Cite this article as:
Hsu, J.E., Baldwin, K.D., Tannast, M. et al. Clin Orthop Relat Res (2012) 470: 2421. doi:10.1007/s11999-011-2220-4



The evidence supporting continued use of shelf acetabuloplasty in Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease (LCPD) is not well-defined, and there is controversy regarding the long-term benefits related to clinical and functional improvement.


Our goals were to determine whether shelf arthroplasty for LCPD (1) prevents the onset of early osteoarthritis; (2) improves pain, ROM, activity, and functional outcomes; (3) maintains or improves femoral head containment, sphericity, and congruency; (4) changes the acetabular index; and (5) is associated with a low rate of complications.


We performed a systematic review of the medical literature from 1966 to 2009 using the search terms Perthes, shelf procedure, and acetabuloplasty. We excluded reports using multiple/combined treatment methods and those not clearly stratifying outcomes. Thirteen studies met the criteria. There were no Level I studies, one Level II prognostic study, five Level III therapeutic studies, and seven Level IV studies. Mean followup ranged from 2.6 to 17.9 years.


Only one study reported progression to early osteoarthritis in one patient. We found no evidence for improvement in ROM and continued pain relief at long-term followup. Mean decrease in lateral subluxation ratio was 13% to 30%, demonstrating an improvement in femoral head containment. Mean acetabular cover percentage improved 16% to 38%, and mean acetabular and center-edge angles improved 4° to 14° and 8° to 33°, respectively. There were no reports of any major complications after the procedure.


While radiographic measurements indicate improved coverage of the femoral head after shelf acetabuloplasty for LCPD, available evidence does not document the procedure prevents early onset of osteoarthritis or improves long-term function.

Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason E. Hsu
    • 1
  • Keith D. Baldwin
    • 2
  • Moritz Tannast
    • 3
  • Harish Hosalkar
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryHospital of the University of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryChildren’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, InselspitalUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  4. 4.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryRady Children’s Hospital, UCSD San DiegoSan DiegoUSA