The goal of treatment is to prevent the mildly displaced femoral head from slipping further and to minimize pain and discomfort.. This is always accomplished through surgery.
Early diagnosis of SCFE provides the best chance of stabilizing the hip and avoiding complications. When treated early and appropriately, the prognosis for long-term hip function is typically very good.
The surgical procedure chosen will depend upon the severity of the slip. Procedures used to treat SCFE include:
In situ fixation: This is the procedure used most often for patients with stable or mild SCFE. A doctor will make a small incision near the hip, then inserts a metal screw across the growth plate to maintain the position of the femoral head to prevent further slippage.
Over time, the growth plate will close or fuse. Once the growth plate has closed, no further slippage can occur.
Open reduction: In patients with unstable SCFE, a doctor may first make an open incision in the hip, then gently manipulate (or reduce) the head of the femur back into its normal anatomic position.The doctor will then insert one or two metal screws to hold the bone in place until the growth plate closes. This is a more extensive procedure and requires a longer recovery time for the patient.
In situ fixation in the opposite hip: Some patients are at higher risk for SCFE occurring on the opposite side. If this is the case, a doctor may recommend inserting a screw into the unaffected hip at the same time to reduce the risk of SCFE. A doctor will discuss the treatment options and what is deemed appropriate for the patient’s condition.