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Open Reduction of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis


Open reduction is surgery to fix your child's slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE). The epiphysis (top of the femur) is moved to the right place and a screw or wires are used to hold it in place.


Call your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has severe pain, even after he or she takes medicine.
  • Your child's incision wound comes apart.
  • Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • Your child develops a fever and chills.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.


Your child may need any of the following:

  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If your child takes blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for him or her. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
  • Acetaminophen decreases pain and fever. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to give your child and how often to give it. Follow directions. Read the labels of all other medicines your child uses to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your child's doctor or pharmacist. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your child's healthcare provider how to give this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not give your child other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to his or her healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your child's healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Wound care:

Care for your child's wound as directed. Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your child's bandages when they get wet or dirty.

Care for your child:

  • Ask about activity. Ask when your child can return to his or her daily activities, such as school and sports.
  • Use support devices as directed. Your child will not be able to place weight on the side of his or her body where surgery was done. He or she will need to use crutches for 3 months after surgery. Ask your child's healthcare provider for more information about how to use crutches, if needed. Your child may instead need to use a wheelchair if surgery was done on both hips.
  • Take your child to physical therapy as directed. A physical therapist teaches your child exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Your child may need to return for x-rays every 3 to 6 months until his or her bones mature. His or her other leg may also need to be checked for SFCE. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.