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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 1994 Jul;76(4):563-7.

The contralateral hip in patients primarily treated for unilateral slipped upper femoral epiphysis. Long-term follow-up of 61 hips.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics, East Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden.


We reviewed, at an average age of 46 years, a series of 61 patients treated for unilateral slipped upper femoral epiphysis. At maturity there had been slipping of the contralateral hip in 11 patients (18%) and another 14 (23%) had originally had evidence of bilateral slipping when the primary radiographs were reviewed. In only two of these 25 patients (8%) was the slipping of the contralateral hip symptomatic. The incidence of early osteoarthritis of the contralateral hip was 7 of 36 with no slip, 5 of 16 with an untreated slip and 1 of 9 with a slip pinned in situ. If all 61 contralateral hips had been prophylactically pinned at the primary admission, 36 of the operations (59%) would have been unnecessary. We recommend that prophylactic pinning of the contralateral hip should not be standard, but that lateral radiography by the Billing technique be repeated every third to fourth month until closure of the growth plate begins. Hips in which a slip occurs should be pinned in situ.

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