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Osteonecrosis of the femoral head associated with slipped capital femoral epiphysis.

Kennedy JG, Hresko MT, Kasser JR, Shrock KB, Zurakowski D, Waters PM, Millis MB. J Pediatr Orthop 2001 Mar-Apr;21(2):189-93

We performed a retrospective analysis of 212 patients (299 hips) with slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) over a 9-year period to assess the incidence of osteonecrosis of the femoral head. Risk factors for the occurrence of osteonecrosis and the influence of treatment on the development of osteonecrosis were determined. Osteonecrosis occurred in 4 hips with unstable SCFE (4/27) and did not occur in hips with stable SCFE (0/272). The proportion of hips in which osteonecrosis developed was significantly higher among the unstable hips (4/27 vs. 0/272, p < 0.0001). Among those with an unstable hip, younger age at presentation was a predictor of a poorer outcome. Magnitude of the slip, magnitude of reduction, and chronicity of the slip were not predictive of a poorer outcome in the unstable group. In situ fixation of the minimally or moderately displaced “unstable” SCFE demonstrated a favorable outcome. We have identified the hip at risk as an unstable SCFE. The classification of hips as unstable if the epiphysis is displaced from the metaphysis or if the patient is unable to walk is most useful in predicting a hip at risk for osteonecrosis.