Introduction: In slipped capital femoral epiphysis the femoral neck displaces relative to the head due to weakening of the epiphysis. Early recognition and adequate surgical fixation is essential for a good functional outcome. The fixation should be secured until the closure of the epiphysis to prevent further slippage. A slipped capital femoral epiphysis should not be confused with a femoral neck fracture.
Case presentation: Case 1 concerns a 15-year-old boy with an adequate initial screw fixation of his slipped capital femoral epiphysis. Unfortunately, it was thought that the epiphysis had healed and the screw was removed after 11 weeks. This caused new instability with a progressive slip of the femoral epiphysis and subsequently re-fixation and a subtrochanteric correction osteotomy was obligatory. Case 2 concerns a 13-year-old girl with persistent hip pain after screw fixation for slipped capital femoral epiphysis. The screw was removed as lysis was seen around the screw on the hip X-ray. This operation created a new unstable situation and the slip progressed resulting in poor hip function. A correction osteotomy with re-screw fixation was performed with a good functional result.
Conclusion: A slipped epiphysis of the hip is not considered 'healed' after a few months. Given the risk of progression of the slip the fixation material cannot be removed before closure of the growth plate.