The frequency of slipping and osteoarthritis of the contralateral hip was recorded in 260 patients with slipped upper femoral epiphysis between 1910 and 1960. Twenty-three of these patients (9%) had primary bilateral slipping, 32 (12%) had a contralateral slip diagnosed later during adolescence and a further 104 (40%) had signs of contralateral slipping at follow-up 16 to 66 years later, giving a total of 159 cases (61%) with bilateral slips. Of the 104 slippings diagnosed at follow-up, 25% showed osteoarthritis. It is concluded that, with a slipped epiphysis, prophylactic contralateral pinning should be performed to avoid slipping and to reduce the risk of osteoarthritis.
- © 1988 British Editorial Society of Bone and Joint Surgery