The authors retrospectively reviewed seven cases of progressive slipped capital femoral epiphysis after screw fixation. All seven patients initially presented with chronic symptoms, and five had an acute exacerbation of symptoms with the appearance of an acute-on-chronic slip. Of the other two, one had obvious motion at the proximal femoral physis and the other had increased symptoms but did not have an obvious acute slip radiographically. All underwent percutaneous screw fixation. In four patients a single screw was placed, and in three patients two screws were placed. No patient became symptom-free after surgery. Slip progression was noted on average 5 months after treatment. Radiographs in all patients revealed an increase in slip severity and loss of screw purchase in the femoral neck while fixation in the proximal femoral epiphysis remained secure. One patient had hypothyroidism and another Cushing disease, both diagnosed after the slipped epiphysis. Slips occurring in children with underlying endocrinopathies, and unstable slips in children with a history of antecedent knee or hip pain (commonly called an acute-on-chronic slip) may be susceptible to screw fixation failure. In such patients, close radiographic follow-up, particularly in the presence of continued symptoms, is required to document slip progression and fixation failure as soon as possible.
- Fixation failure
- Slipped capital femoral epiphysis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine