Femoroacetabular impingement as a result of slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) has been treated traditionally with a proximal femoral osteotomy, but open and arthroscopic femoral osteoplasty is becoming increasingly popular. Cam lesions result from excess bone primarily at the anterolateral femoral head-neck junction. SCFEs result from posterior and inferior slippage of the femoral epiphysis, causing the metaphysis to move anteriorly. This study’s purpose was to compare fourth-generation sawbones standard femurs with SCFE femurs to determine whether bone resection from the anterior metaphysis results in similar biomechanical properties.
A custom fourth-generation composite SCFE sawbone was created with a 30-degree slip angle. Control group consisted of fourth-generation composite standard nondeformed medium femurs. The femoral neck at the head-neck junction was divided into 4 quadrants. All resections were done in the anterolateral quadrant. Twenty SCFE sawbones and 20 standard sawbones were divided into 4 subgroups based on resection depths of 0%, 10%, 30%, and 50% of the metaphysis at the head-neck junction. After resection, all proximal femurs were loaded to failure in an Instron testing machine to determine the ultimate load to failure, stiffness, and energy to failure.
The standard femurs were significantly stronger than the SCFE femurs (P<0.001) and the strength of the femurs decreased significantly as the resection amount increased (P<0.001). Similarly, the standard femurs withstood significantly more energy before failing than the SCFE femurs (P<0.001) and the energy to failure decreased significantly with varying resection amounts (P<0.001).
SCFE femurs demonstrate a significant reduction in strength and energy to failure after osteoplasty compared with nondeformed femurs in a sawbone model. Strength and energy to failure are inversely proportional to the depth of bone resection.
Aggressive femoral neck osteoplasty for treatment of a SCFE deformity may lead to increased risk of fracture. Further studies are necessary to determine the safe depth of resection in a clinical setting.
*Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital
†Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
K.M.D.: study design, grant approval, biomechanical testing, and drafting final work. G.T.B.: study design, grant approval, biomechanical testing, statistics, and editing work. Y.L.: study design, grant approval, biomechanical testing, and editing work.
Supported by a grant from the University of Michigan, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery Research Advisory Committee.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
Reprints: Kevin M. Dale, MD, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, University of Michigan, 1540 E. Hospital Drive, SPC 4241, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-4241. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.