Slipped femoral capital epiphyses in irradiated children: Dose, volume and age relationships

Craig L. Silverman, Patrick R.M. Thomas, William H. McAlister, Stephen Walker, Leo A. Whiteside

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Between 1960 and 1979, 50 patients under 15 years of age received radiotherapy to the pelvis including the non-fused capital femoral epiphyseal plate. A total of 83 epiphyseal plates were at risk. Eight epiphyseal plates (9.6%) in five patients were abnormal: symptomatic capital femoral epiphyseal slippage-4, asymptomatic slippage-1, severe epiphyseal abnormalities on radiographs-3. No complication occurred below doses of 2,500 rad (25 Gy). Children under the age of 4 at time of irradiation were at a higher risk ( 7 15-47%) than those over 4 years of age ( 1 21-4.7%). Most slippages occurred at ages between 8 and 10 years. No dose response curve was obtained-higher doses above the threshold dose of 2,500 rad did not increase the incidence of slippage. A mechanism of action is postulated. This is a preventable complication; judicious use of primary or secondary blocking systems can eliminate or limit the dose to the non-fused epiphyseal plate and prevent later morbid complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1357-1363
Number of pages7
JournalInternational journal of radiation oncology, biology, physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1981


  • Complications
  • Slipped capital femoral epiphysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Slipped femoral capital epiphyses in irradiated children: Dose, volume and age relationships'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this