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In Situ Fixation of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Aug 31, 2022.

What do I need to know about in situ fixation of slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE)?

In situ fixation is surgery to fix your child's SCFE. A screw or wires will be used to hold the epiphysis (head) of the femur (thighbone) in place.

How should my child prepare for in situ fixation?

Your child's healthcare provider will talk to you about how your child should prepare for surgery. The provider may tell your child not to eat or drink anything after midnight on the day of his or her surgery. He or she will tell you what medicines your child can take or not take on the day of surgery.

What will happen during in situ fixation?

Your child will be given general anesthesia to keep him or her asleep and free from pain during surgery. The surgeon will make a small incision on your child's hip. He or she will insert a guidewire through the incision and move it toward your child's femur. The surgeon will use fluoroscopy (a type of x-ray) to help him or her place the guidewire in the right place. A hole will be drilled into the head of his or her femur. A screw will be inserted over the guidewire. The screw will then be placed into the bone to keep the head of the femur in place. The incision will be closed with stitches and covered with a bandage.

What will happen after in situ fixation?

Your child will not be able to place weight on the side of his or her body where surgery was done for 4 to 6 weeks. He or she will need to use crutches, or a wheelchair if surgery is done on both hips.

What are the risks of in situ fixation?

Your child's bone may fracture (break) during surgery. The head of your child's femur may slip even more off of the bone during surgery. Lack of blood flow to your child's bone may lead to death of bone tissue. This may cause his or her bone to break down. The screw or wires may go into the hip joint space and cause cartilage to wear down. This can cause pain and decreased movement in his or her leg.

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Further information

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