What is hip Epiphysiolysis and how is the treatment done

Epiphysiolysis is the slipping of the head of the femur, which is located in the region of the pelvis, and can cause deformation or asymmetrical growth, since it is more common in children between 10 and 13 years of age, for girls, and 10 to 15 years, for boys.

Although it can happen without any apparent cause, epiphysiolysis is more common in boys or girls who are overweight or obese, but it can also happen and in very tall and thin people, which can affect both legs.

Since it can cause deformities, epiphysiolysis is a medical emergency that must be treated as soon as possible through surgery. Thus, whenever there is a suspicion of this condition, it is important to consult the pediatrician or a pediatric orthopedist, to confirm the diagnosis and start treatment.

What symptoms

Symptoms of epiphysiolysis usually include pain in the hip region for more than 3 weeks, difficulty walking and rotation of the leg outward. In addition, some children may also report pain in the knee area, which can end up delaying the diagnosis.

Possible causes

The specific cause that leads to the appearance of epiphysiolysis is not known, however, it seems to be related to some trauma at the site or even to hormonal factors, especially in children who are being treated with growth hormone.

How the diagnosis is made

Generally, a simple radiograph of the pelvis, comparing the two sides, is sufficient to diagnose epiphysiolysis, however, in case of doubt, it may be necessary to perform a tomography or magnetic resonance imaging.

What is the treatment

Epiphysiolysis is a medical emergency and, therefore, treatment should be done as soon as possible through surgery, as the slipping of the femoral head can cause serious damage, such as hip arthrosis or other deformities.

Surgery consists of fixing the femur to the hip bone through the use of screws and, often, this surgery can also be performed on the other leg, even if it is not affected, since in more than half of the cases, both sides end up being affected during growth.

In addition, and to complete the treatment, it is also important to carry out physical therapy sessions and exercises in the water, for example, to recover the lost movements. These sessions should only be done after the orthopedist has indicated.