Ultrasonographic Diagnosis of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis
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Publication date: 2018-02-02
Pol J Radiol, 2017; 82: 149-151
Background: Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE), a fracture through the physis with resultant slip of the epiphysis, is the most common hip abnormality in adolescents and is a major cause of early osteoarthritis. Plain radiograph is the initial modality used to evaluate patients with painful hip joints. Ultrasonography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which do not involve radiation exposure, have also been used. This case report supports the view that ultrasound can be used as an initial, cost-effective and radiation-free modality for the evaluation of suspected SCFE.
Case Report: A 15-year-old male patient presented with pain in the right hip for 5 days, following a slip and fall accident while playing soccer. The patient was referred to the Department of Radio-diagnosis for ultrasound. A posterior displacement of the femoral head epiphysis with a physeal step was seen on the longitudinal section obtained over the right hip joint region. The anterior physeal step (APS) measured ~3.8 mm on the right side. The distance between the anterior rim of the acetabulum and the metaphysis measured ~20.4 mm on the affected right side and ~23.6 mm on the left side. A plain radiograph in frog leg position showed a widening of the right proximal physis below the right femoral head, with a medial and posterior slip of the right femoral head. A frontal radiograph of the pelvis taken six months before showed a widening of the proximal right femoral physis.
Conclusions: Although MRI appears to be the most sensitive modality for identifying slips early, ultrasound may be used as a cost-effective and radiation-free alternative before proceeding with further evaluation of suspected SCFE, especially considering the demographics of the affected population.
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