Epiphyseal Translation as a Predictor of Avascular Necrosis in Unstable Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis.

Sinha, P., A. Khedr, M. P. McClincy, T. S. Kenkre, N. E. Novak, and P. Bosch, "Epiphyseal Translation as a Predictor of Avascular Necrosis in Unstable Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis.", Journal of pediatric orthopedics, vol. 41, issue 1, pp. 40-45, 2021.


BACKGROUND: Physeal instability has been shown to be associated with a higher risk of avascular necrosis (AVN) in patients with slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE). The purpose of this study was to identify additional preoperative factors associated with AVN in patients with unstable SCFE.

METHODS: Basic demographic information, chronicity of symptoms, and estimated duration of nonambulatory status were noted. Preoperative radiographs were used to measure the Southwick slip angle, slip severity by Wilson criteria, and epiphyseal translation. Translation was measured by 3 distinct radiographic parameters in the position demonstrating maximal displacement. Postoperative radiographs at the time of most recent follow-up were assessed for the presence of AVN. Translation measurements were tested for inter-rater reliability. Patients who developed AVN were compared with those that did not by Fisher exact test and Wilcoxon tests. Logistic regression assessed the effect of translation on the odds of developing AVN. Receiver operating characteristic curve was plotted to assess any threshold effect.

RESULTS: Fifty-one patients (55 hips) out of 310 patients (16%) treated for SCFE were considered unstable. Seventeen hips' unstable SCFE (31%) showed radiographic evidence of AVN. Slip severity by Wilson grade (P=0.009) and epiphyseal translation by all measurements (P< 0.05) were statistically significantly greater among patients who developed AVN. Superior translation had the best inter-rater reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient=0.84). Average superior translation in hips that developed AVN was 17.2 mm compared with 12.9 mm in those that did not (P<0.02). Although the receiver operating characteristic curve did not demonstrate a threshold effect for AVN, it did effectively rule out AVN in cases with <1 cm of superior translation. Age, sex, laterality, chronicity of prodromal symptoms or inability to bear weight, Southwick slip angle, and method of treatment did not vary with the occurrence of AVN.

CONCLUSIONS: Epiphyseal translation, either by Wilson Grade or measured directly, is associated with AVN in patients with an unstable SCFE.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II-development of diagnostic criteria.