• Slipped capital femoral (SCFE) occurs with greater frequency in children with growth hormone deficiency than in children in the general Population. This epidemiologic observation suggests that SCFE may be a complication of growth hormone deficiency, associated pituitary hormone deficiencies, growth hormone therapy, or a combination of these factors. To clarify the relationship of growth hormone treatment to SCFE, homologous growth hormone was administered to rats that were without growth hormone deficiency. This treatment was found to alter the material properties of the growth plate, increasing material stiffness and decreasing specific energyabsorptive capacity. Such material changes render the growth plate more susceptible to injury or separation. The observed effects of growth hormone on the growth plates of intact animals suggest that children without growth hormone deficiency who are treated with growth hormone may be at increased risk for growth plate separation. The experimental data also indicate that growth hormone treatment of children with this deficiency may contribute to the observed increased frequency of SCFE among these patients.