What is the prognosis of slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE)?

Updated: Dec 03, 2018
  • Author: Kevin D Walter, MD, FAAP; Chief Editor: Craig C Young, MD  more...
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Answer

Most patients with SCFE who are treated with urgent in situ fixation do well. However, in those cases with severe slippage and resultant deformity, long-term sequelae may result (eg, AVN, chondrolysis, leg-length discrepancy, stiffness, osteoarthritis). Although conservative modalities (eg, therapy, analgesics, orthotics, assistive aids) are used initially for symptomatic relief, urgent operative intervention is indicated. Young patients with unremitting pain, loss of motion, and stiffness secondary to chondrolysis, AVN, or osteoarthritis may require salvage hip arthrodeses. In hips that are incompletely damaged, proximal osteotomies may aid in redirecting the joint forces to less damaged areas of the articular femoral head.


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