A new study has found that childhood obesity can increase risk of hip diseases in adolescence. Significant hip deformities affect around 1 in 500 children and Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE) is the most common hip disease in adolescents.
The condition always requires surgery, can cause significant pain and often leads to a hip replacement in adolescence or early adulthood. Senior author Daniel Perry and his team examined individuals under 16 with a diagnosis of SCFE between 1990 and 2013.
Using the height and weight of children recorded in the notes at some point before the disease was diagnosed, the researchers were able to identify that obese children appear at highest risk of this condition.
Children with a SCFE experience a decrease in their range of motion and are often unable to complete hip flexion or fully rotate the hip inward.Unfortunately, many cases of SCFE are misdiagnosed or overlooked, because the first symptom is knee pain, referred from the hip. The knee is often investigated and found to be normal.
Early recognition of SCFE is important as the deformity may worsen if the slip remains untreated.
Daniel Perry, from Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in UK, said, “This is the best evidence available linking this disease to childhood obesity, which makes this condition to be one of the only obesity-related disease that can cause life-long morbidity starting in childhood.”
“A significant proportion of patients with SCFE are initially misdiagnosed and those presenting with knee pain are particularly at risk,” Perry added. The study is published in journal of Archives of Disease in Childhood journal.