Perthes disease

Question:
Young Male, 12 years old. Bilateral Perthes Disease during infancy. Reported as healed without functional sequelae.
Can he dive?

Answer:
There are two situations to be considered:
A) If the osteo-condral condition at the hip level, bilaterally, is normal for the age, according to the opinion of the attending specialist, there is no different advice or contraindication than for a normal boy of similar age. The always present problem, although there is no valid scientific evidence for this, is that diving may affect regular bon growth because of potential problems at the level of the cartilage-bone junction (growth cartilage) in the growing bone. This is why a drastic limitation of depth exposure is advised in teen-age divers ( usually within 10-12 meters and for limited bottom times, not exceeding 30-40 minutes total dive time, better if one per day maximum).
B) The potential enhanced mechanical stress of the hip should also be considered, in view of the specific effort implied by the use of fins. This should be evaluated together with the attending specialist, who should be informed of the specific movement required and of the increased resistance to it due to water density. Generally speaking, if no contraindication has been made with regard to normal life and sports activities, fin-swimming should not represent a problem, but a consultation with the attending specialist is anyway recommended.