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J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2006 Nov;14(12):666-79.

Slipped capital femoral epiphysis: current concepts.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT 05405, USA.


Slipped capital femoral epiphysis is a common hip disorder in adolescents, with an incidence of 0.2 (Japan) to 10 (United States) per 100,000. The etiology is unknown, but biomechanical and biochemical factors play an important role. Symptoms at presentation include pain in the groin, thigh, or knee. Ambulatory patients also may present with a limp. Nonambulatory patients present with excruciating pain. The slipped capital femoral epiphysis is classified as stable when the patient can walk and unstable when the patient cannot walk, even with the aid of crutches. Because the epiphysis slips posteriorly, it is best seen on lateral radiographs. The treatment of choice for stable slipped capital femoral epiphysis is single-screw fixation in situ. This method has a high probability of long-term success, with minimal risk of complications. In the patient with unstable slipped capital femoral epiphysis, urgent hip joint aspiration followed by closed reduction and single- or double-screw fixation provides the best environment for a satisfactory result, while minimizing the risk of complications.

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