Case: This is a single case report of a 16-year-old adolescent male patient who presented with an 18-month history of hip pain. Radiographs originally ordered by the patient’s family physician were read by the medical radiologist as “unremarkable.” The family physician diagnosed the patient with tendonitis.
Treatment: After reviewing the radiographs and examining the patient, the chiropractor suspected a SCFE that was confirmed with a repeat radiographic examination. The patient was referred back to his family physician with a diagnosis of SCFE and recommendation for orthopedic surgical consultation. The patient was subsequently treated successfully with surgical reduction by in situ pinning.
Conclusion: The prognosis for the SCFE patient when diagnosed early and managed appropriately is good. The consequences of a delay in the diagnosis of SCFE are an increased risk of further slippage and deformity, increased complications such as avascular necrosis and chondrolysis and increased likelihood of degenerative osteoarthritis of the involved hip later in life. The diagnosis and appropriate management of SCFE is where the chiropractor has an important role to play in the management of this condition.
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