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Bone Joint J. 2019 Apr;101-B(4):403-414. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.101B4.BJJ-2018-1303.R1.

Patients with severe slipped capital femoral epiphysis treated by the modified Dunn procedure have low rates of avascular necrosis, good outcomes, and little osteoarthritis at long-term follow-up.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Inselspital, University of Bern, Freiburgstrasse, Bern, Switzerland.
Department of Paediatric Surgery, Inselspital, University of Bern, Freiburgstrasse, Bern, Switzerland.



The modified Dunn procedure has the potential to restore the anatomy in hips with severe slipped capital femoral epiphyses (SCFE). However, there is a risk of developing avascular necrosis of the femoral head (AVN). In this paper, we report on clinical outcome, radiological outcome, AVN rate and complications, and the cumulative survivorship at long-term follow-up in patients undergoing the modified Dunn procedure for severe SCFE.


We performed a retrospective analysis involving 46 hips in 46 patients treated with a modified Dunn procedure for severe SCFE (slip angle > 60°) between 1999 and 2016. At nine-year-follow-up, 40 hips were available for clinical and radiological examination. Mean preoperative age was 13 years, and 14 hips (30%) presented with unstable slips. Mean preoperative slip angle was 64°. Kaplan-Meier survivorship was calculated.


At the latest follow-up, the mean Merle d'Aubigné and Postel score was 17 points (14 to 18), mean modified Harris Hip Score was 94 points (66 to 100), and mean Hip Disability and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score was 91 points (67 to 100). Postoperative slip angle was 7° (1° to 16°). One hip (2%) had progression of osteoarthritis (OA). Two hips (5%) developed AVN of the femoral head and required further surgery. Three other hips (7%) underwent implant revision due to screw breakage or change of wires. Cumulative survivorship was 86% at ten-year follow-up.


The modified Dunn procedure for severe SCFE resulted in a low rate of AVN, low risk of progression to OA, and high functional scores at long-term follow-up. The slip deformities were mainly corrected but secondary impingement deformities can develop in some hips and may require further surgical treatment. Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2019;101-B:403-414.


Femoroacetabular Impingement; Hip; Hip-preserving surgery; Modified Dunn procedure; Slipped capital femoral epiphysis; avascular necrosis

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