Total Hip Arthroplasty in the Young: Special Emphasis on Post-SCFE Patients

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Abstract

Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) is a hip disorder of adolescence, which has the potential for profound implications into adulthood. SCFE patients are at risk of early joint degeneration and subsequent need for arthroplasty. The rate at which arthroplasty is required is not precisely known, but is estimated to be approximately 45% by 50 years after a slip. The femoral neck and shaft displace anteriorly and rotate externally relative to the femoral epiphysis, which remains fixed in the acetabulum. Stabilization of the physis is the goal of acute management. Despite such efforts, accelerated joint degeneration may occur over time. This progression is due to avascular necrosis, chondrolysis, or following years of femoroacetabular impingement. Total hip arthroplasty (THA) and total hip resurfacing (THR) are options for end-stage hip arthritis due to SCFE. THR is technically more challenging, with very limited ability to address deformity-related issues of impingement, decreased hip offset, and trochanteric malposition. THR, as in any metal on metal arthroplasty, may be associated with local metal sensitivity or systemic metal toxicity. Given the limited utility and potential risks, THR is currently not recommended in the majority of cases. THA, although historically demonstrating poor long-term implant performance in the young patient, has become a more reliable option recently. The potential benefits of THA are considerable, even for the young patient with end-stage hip degeneration. Certain cemented and many cementless stem designs show good long-term survival, as do current cementless cups. Advances in bearing surfaces promise to minimize wear and extend implant longevity. Ceramic on ceramic, metal on highly cross-linked polyethylene, and ceramic on highly cross-linked polyethylene bearing couples offer promise.

Level of Evidence:

Level V.

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