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- B. Stephens Richards
Slipped capital femoral epiphysis is the most common orthopedic hip disorder occurring in adolescence. In this condition, the femoral head (epiphysis) displaces, or slips, on the femoral neck through the region of the growth plate. This may result from traumatic forces acting on a normal growth plate (physis) or from ordinary forces acting on a weakened growth plate. In the latter situation, resistance to shear-type forces within the physis is decreased. This leads to the growth plate giving way when exposed to modest forces, such as running, skipping, or twisting. The femoral head may displace abruptly, analogous to a fracture, and may be exquisitely painful to the patient. Or, the femoral head may displace gradually, maintaining a stable relationship between it and the femoral neck, and may present clinically only as an ache in the groin. Regardless of the clinical presentation, the proper management requires urgent surgical intervention in an effort to avoid further displacement. Thus, early diagnosis is of utmost importance in the management of slipped capital femoral epiphysis.
The general incidence of this condition is 1 to 3 per 100 000, with a slightly higher incidence in African-American children. Males are affected twice as often as females. The children are obese (the weight being 2 standard deviations above the mean for the child's age) in 67% of cases.
- Copyright © 1996 by the American Academy of Pediatrics