Anterior physeal separation

A SIGN INDICATING A HIGH RISK FOR AVASCULAR NECROSIS AFTER SLIPPED CAPITAL FEMORAL EPIPHYSIS

J. Ballard, A. P. Cosgrove

Abstract

A study of 78 children (110 hips) was undertaken in an attempt to assess the risk of avascular necrosis (AVN) after slipped capital femoral epiphysis based on the radiological appearances of the hip at the time of presentation.

Physeal separation, which was defined as the amount of separation of the anterior lip of the epiphysis from the metaphysis on the frog lateral view, was assessed. Of the eight hips which developed AVN, seven had anterior physeal separation. We conclude that anterior physeal separation is associated with a high incidence of subsequent AVN after slipped capital femoral epiphysis and that screw fixation may not be appropriate in these patients.

  • Received October 18, 2001.
  • Accepted April 22, 2002.