Discussions By Condition: Medical Stories

slipped upper femoral epiphysis

Posted In: Medical Stories 13 Replies
  • Posted By: helfi26
  • October 20, 2008
  • 08:58 PM

my son has just been diagnosed with slipped upper femoral epiphysis, or sufe for short. he is going in hospital on 19th nov for operation. he has got to have his hip fractured and reset. i have been looking up sufe on internet, and whilst i am able to find some info, the only ops spoke about are ones to fix screws to secure hip. my son is 15 aand has suffered with a limp and pain aronund the knee and thigh for possibly a year, slowly getting worse. he was referred to hospital by his doctor, i was expecting him to need physio, so am in total shock. after ct scan it was explained the slip was acute and was past pinning. i would be grateful of any info regarding sufe or the op.
thanx, helen.

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  • Hi,I had the same (Unsure if it was upper though)Apparently they are teaching the junior doctors these days that if there is pain in a childs knee but no problem with the knee they then check out the hipsI was 14 and started having pains in the inside of my right knee and couldnt walk properly so went to get checked out, got told it was growing pains, went back again, got told the sameI was told that i should continue living a normal boys life (Football, sports ect.) then one day when playing football i turned on the spot and collapsed. The problem was there on the original x-rays the doctors just didnt notice them.Had 5 weeks in hosiptal, 6 months in a wheel chair and 18 month on crutches (Apparently this was an very extreme case so dont expect anything like this)I had my right hip completely reset and th left one pinned, unfortunatly the right one then developed neucrosis (Spelling?) and had to have the pin removedI am now 20 years old and i havnt had any serious problems since, get the occasional pain in my right groin and right knee but nothing serious. Ive just started playing 5-aside again now although i cant last much longer than 20 minutes as it aches abit and gets very stiff afterwards.I cycle to and from work daily and have just become a qualified electrician, so all is not lost for your son!My left leg is 2.5inch longer than my right and i have alot less flexibility in my right leg (Its more of a hinge than a joint if you know what i mean, it goes forwards and abit backwards just not out to the side)This will stay like this until i have my first hip replacement which i am told will be approximately at the age of late 20's early 30's and i will then need a hip replacement approximately every 20 years for the rest of my life, after this i will walk normally so im actually looking forward to it!Like i say this is only my case and i hope your sons isnt as serious, but dont let it get him down, its not the best thing to go through at that age but its not the worst!Sorry im not the most medically knowledgable person but hope this little story helpsBest of luck with your son and dont let it hold him backIf you have any questions just post it on here and ill do my best to answer them
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 24, 2008
    • 02:50 PM
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  • hithank you very much for your reply, i had read that it is very easily misdiagnosed, but must say that its been me who felt i should have done something sooner. my son had complained for prob past year of knee and thigh pain, and walked with a limp, like you he has a 2 inch leg length difference. i was always telling him to walk properly and that it was probably growing pains. but decided to take him to doctors in june. he had first appointment 4 wks ago with a sports specialist at hospital, who said straight away it was serious, and then went for xray, ct scan and then the surgeon. within 2 hours he had been diagnosed. he was originally going to be admitted the next day, but ct scan shown that it had slipped as far as possible, so, as long as he took comlete rest he would be admitted on next available date. as you can imagine i have gone through the complete guilt trip and what if!! i was too upset to ask questions, couldnt think of any, but have loads now, ready for pre op in 2 wks time. what i didnt realise is that you still have pins or screws then after it has been reset, im sorry if that seems a daft question. also wondered was u in plaster? he has been told minimum 3 month recovery, but longer for complete recovery. did you find out what caused the problem, again this is something i know little about. i am glad to hear you are getting back to normal and recovering well, and i really do thank you for your reply, its been my only upto yet.thanx helen.
    helfi26 1 Replies
    • October 25, 2008
    • 03:18 PM
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  • I wasnt in plaster no, i was just 100% bed bound for 5 weeks, the first 2 weeks were pre-operation and the doctor was on holiday for 10 days of the remaining 3 weeks so im not 100% sure how long i would have been in bed forThe length of my recovery was due to the necrosis (Spelling?) of my right hip which from what i gather is due to not enough white blood cells in the bone (Or something of the sort) which basically results in the bone dyingIm not too sure what caused the slip in the first place, something to do with a problem with growth plates during puberty?The last thing you should be doing is blaming yourself, my mother still does to this day. You never think something like this will happen to you or your family until it does, but like i say things could be alot worse. Lifes full of what ifs and its not as if you didnt have your childs best interests at heartYeah my pins got left in until the right one was removed due to necrosis but my left ones still in to this day. Ive read that in europe they leave them in because if they are left in there is less chance of arthritis later in life. Although in central america they generally take them out after a period of time (Not sure why)The pins are made out of some special metal, dont worry it wont be setting off any alarms at the airport when your sons going on his first lads holiday!Just write down any questions about your sons specific case and take them to the next meeting with the doctor and im sure he will help, no doubt youll have pleantyAgain, if you think of anything else to ask about my experience or anything at all or if i havn't covered anything well enough just let me know as ill be checking on here for a while to see how things are goingHope everything goes well for you and your son and make sure he keeps his spirits up!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 29, 2008
    • 05:38 PM
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  • Hello, I am from the UK and my son who will be 15 in August was diagnosed with Slipped Upper Femoral Epythesis in September last year. Like Helen it was a complete shock, I had never heard of the condition before. He started complaining of pains in his groin around October 2007. After various doctors appointments and xrays/scans he was finally admitted to hospital and had an operation. He was in bed for just over 4 weeks and has basically been on crutches ever since. He has had the screws removed (in April this year) but unfortuately he too it seems has developed Avascular Necrosis. He is going for a CT scan in July and then that will determine what happens next. He is in a lot of pain and his right leg is shorter so he too walks with a limp. It has really affected his social life becaue he doesn't want to go out with crutches (they are not cool)! I've had lots of feelings of guilt of course, should have insisted that he saw a specialist at the start but I was obviously unaware how serious the condition was or what indeed it was. If either of you are still on this site it would be great to hear from you. MJ
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi I had a serious sufe in 2001 when i was 18/19 they can pin the femur in place by putting a pin through the bone into the growth plate - depending upon position and slippage. As far as the reason why - in most cases it is due to ... hormones. (Not sure about boys specifically) but in girls if there is not enough oestrogen the growth plates do not solidfy in the body, allowing bones to slip out of place. I am sure there are other reasons, but most web sites agree that there could be a hormone imbalance - unfortunately for me mine was because i had a tumour on my pituitary gland (the hormone computer if you like) so i had no hormones, hadn't grown since 13, no periods etc so my growth plates never hardened. Now on all sorts of pills and injections - including oestrogen which caused my growth plates to harden. I had the pin taken out as my condition requires lots of MRI scans which don't allow metal any where near them and as my growth plates had hardenedMy walking and movement is def limited but generally not a problem, i walk and excercise ok, but i was told to avoid contact sports, horseriding, skating etc in case it caused problems in terms of further movement or knocking out of place again. THis can be serious if the hip actually comes entirely apart as pushing back in can cause problems. However, we are all different so I guess this is not always the case - best to speak to the docs Best wishes G
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 13, 2009
    • 00:46 PM
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  • Hi all,I am a 19 year old female, my first SUFE was in 2001 and had slipped out quite a considerable amount. Luckily for me when i arrived at the medical center a doctor saw me walking and looked after me straight away and then sent me off to a childrens hospital. I live in New Zealand and most of the doctors had never seen somebody with the condition. I had my operation the next day and left hospital the day after my op returning to school on cruthes the day after. My surgeon was amazing. The scar is small and barely noticeable and i recovered quickly.In 2003 i had my second SUFE, while we knew what to look for and the slip was alot smaller the operation was unforunately not as quite forward as the first. The pin and scar are considerably larger and both my hospital stay and recovery time was larger aswell. I had 3 months off school before i even had the strength to use my crutches properly. The doctors told me that whether your leg is shortened or not is determined by where your leg grows from. Even tho one of my growth plates was shut off in my hips i still maintained evenly length legs supposidly because i do grow from my knees.My mother also felt terrible but i do not blame her at all. The lack of knowledge about this particular problem is what atributed to my second bad operation and im guessing peoples lack of diagnosis. As for the pins, my remain in place and give me no discomfort. The doctors tell me they have no intention of removing them.I am told that later in life i will develop arthritis in my hips and may need a hip replacement later in life. For now the only time i am affected is when i get slight pains after being in a position for too long.Hope this helps
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 7, 2010
    • 02:18 AM
    • 0
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  • my daughter had sufe it happen 5 yrs ago and even with repeated visits to the hospital and local gp's they didn't find for a yr, she was always being told that it was growing pains. Finally it was found she was admitted straight away to hospital, where i was made to feel that i was to blame, she was in hospital for 3 and a half weeks, she wasn't allowed to put weight on it for nearly 10 months, and had her crutches taken away 2 months later, (she was off school for a whole yr) she is still under the doctor, she goes to the hospital 2ce a yr as the slip was very bad, she had 2 inches taken off her bone another piece cut and then pinned bk, she has a total of 3 pins and because it was missed for so long it actually was at a 90 degree angle which they could only rite to 70%. I am furious, even bk 5 yrs ago doctors should of known, that it was the hip and not the knee, after a week of knee pain, doc's or hospital, should of check the hip. It says in a lot of medical journals....:mad:
    lillixxx 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • lillixxx I totally agree. I have read several things that urge drs to look at the hips when the knee hurts. You should not feel guilty for their incompetence. You'd have done better if you knew better. My daughter had her SCFE when she was only 7.5 yrs old so she was an unusual case. I took her to an orthopedic dr after 4 months and he diagnosed her on the first visit. Sometime I will have to take the time to post her story. Best wishes to you and your daughter.
    blfcrewse 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • My son spent a week in hospital with severe pains in his legs when he was 15. he had various x-rays and blood tests and was under the care of a rheumatologist. she was unable to find anything wrong with him and could only diagnose growing pains. he was seen by various doctors in the hospital. He was given months of hydro and phsyio therapy to try get his feet to point forward. He is now 19 and the pains have got considerably worse. he went back to another GP and was immediately referred to hospitsl. On friday he had an appointment with a hip specialist. He now has to have a double hip replacement and it turns out he had sufferd a slipped femoral epithisis in his adolescence. As you can imagenine we are all devastated with this news. Annmy daughter had sufe it happen 5 yrs ago and even with repeated visits to the hospital and local gp's they didn't find for a yr, she was always being told that it was growing pains. Finally it was found she was admitted straight away to hospital, where i was made to feel that i was to blame, she was in hospital for 3 and a half weeks, she wasn't allowed to put weight on it for nearly 10 months, and had her crutches taken away 2 months later, (she was off school for a whole yr) she is still under the doctor, she goes to the hospital 2ce a yr as the slip was very bad, she had 2 inches taken off her bone another piece cut and then pinned bk, she has a total of 3 pins and because it was missed for so long it actually was at a 90 degree angle which they could only rite to 70%. I am furious, even bk 5 yrs ago doctors should of known, that it was the hip and not the knee, after a week of knee pain, doc's or hospital, should of check the hip. It says in a lot of medical journals....:mad:
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I had a SUFE done when I was 10! I had no pain what so ever just a very bad limp, which I became soo used 2 it was as if I wasn't aware of it! Everyone was aslong my mummy wha happened 2 me + she said nothing...as I never had any accident! She tortured me 2 go 2 tha dr but at that age dr's is only if ur sick or in pain so I had 100 excuses not 2 go cause I honestly believed there was nothing wrong! Finally I went 2 the dr + got sent straight 2 hospital + they admitted me right away + mi op was tha following evening! I was soooo shocked + soo was mi mum! They said if I waited a further week I wud have been in a wheelxhair the rest of my life as it had slipped that far away! Mi pin is still in which will b there for life and I have a pretty big scar on the side of my thiegh! My mummy felt sooo guilty but she wasn't to no, I actually never realised how rare it was until I started reading about it on the net!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi all,I am 24 and have just been diagnosed (four days ago) with slipped upper femoral epiphysis in both hips, with impingement/early stage wear and tear on the right one, which is incredibly painful when walking/standing for long periods of time. My specialist has advised that this probably happened but was undetected when I was a child (I am 6' tall and was always a very tall child) - I've now had an x-ray and an MRI and my follow-up consultation is tonight but basically it looks like I will need to have surgeryI was wondering if anyone else has had a similar problem? Nobody ever noticed this when I was a child and everything I've read online says I should have absolute bedrest from the moment I'm diagnosed until the op, which is worrying as I'm still cycling to work everyday etc... and it's painful but not unbearable...Any advice from anyone would be much appreciated!thanks :-)child
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 9, 2013
    • 11:15 AM
    • 0
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  • Hi all,I am 24 and have just been diagnosed (four days ago) with slipped upper femoral epiphysis in both hips, with impingement/early stage wear and tear on the right one, which is incredibly painful when walking/standing for long periods of time. My specialist has advised that this probably happened but was undetected when I was a child (I am 6' tall and was always a very tall child) - I've now had an x-ray and an MRI and my follow-up consultation is tonight but basically it looks like I will need to have surgeryI was wondering if anyone else has had a similar problem? Nobody ever noticed this when I was a child and everything I've read online says I should have absolute bedrest from the moment I'm diagnosed until the op, which is worrying as I'm still cycling to work everyday etc... and it's painful but not unbearable...Any advice from anyone would be much appreciated!thanks :-)
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 9, 2013
    • 00:59 PM
    • 0
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  • My 12 year old normal weight daughter had been limping and complaining of pain for approx 9 months. 3 trips to docs who said growing pains. On 4th docs demanded to see a specialist.. While waiting for appointment she fell in school and was in agony. Ambulance to hospital and on arrival xrayed. Severe SUFE. 10 days in skin traction and transferred to cardiff hosp for operation. She has 4 large pins holding her together which im told will never be removed. Total of 4 weeks in hosp, 8 weeks in wheelchair, then zimmer, and has recently come off her crutches. Its been 6 months since her op and she has weekly physio. She still walks with a bad limp and doesnt seem to b improving at all. Im asking if this is normal and if anyone out there can help. I want to reassure her that she will walk normally but i cant and im worried for her. Oh yeah, she also has nerve damage on her other side due to operation and or broomstick cast which has resulted in foot drop, she has to wear a large leg/foot splint to make sure she doesnt trip over her own feet. Anyone else experienced this and is there light at the end of the tunnel.. Im trying not to think about the complications she might have with her hips in her later life but you have all scared me a little. One bridge at a time for me
    Jasminesmum 1 Replies
    • February 21, 2013
    • 05:21 PM
    • 0
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