Other Known Aliases – Line of Klein
Definition – Virtual line drawn parallel from the femoral neck that should intersect the lateral upper edge of the femoral head
Clinical Significance – Used in the radiographical diagnosis of slipped capital femoral epiphysis and allows for early diagnosis and surgical management to prevent avascular necrosis as an adult. The sensitivity and specificity are the highest if modified by a ≥2mm difference in the epiphyseal width lateral to Klein’s line compared to the unaffected side.
History – Named after Armin Klein (1892-1954), who was an American orthopaedic surgeon and received his medical doctorate from Harvard Medical School in 1927. He completed his residency at Boston City Hospital and upon completion joined the faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital. It was here in 1952 that Klein and three colleagues published a case series on children with previously undiagnosed SCFE, but with positive findings using his technique. He would later go on to become Chief of Orthopaedic Surgery at the new Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and obtained teaching positions at Harvard Medical School and Tufts College Medical School.
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- KLEIN A, JOPLIN RJ, REIDY JA, HANELIN J. Slipped capital femoral epiphysis; early diagnosis and treatment facilitated by normal roentgenograms. The Journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume. 1952; 34-A(1):233-9. [pubmed]
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