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Open Reduction of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jan 5, 2023.

What do I need to know about open reduction of slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE)?

Open reduction is surgery to fix your child's SCFE. The epiphysis (top of the femur) is moved to the right place and one or more screws or wires are used to hold it in place.

How do I help my child prepare for open reduction?

Your child's healthcare provider will talk to you about how to prepare your child 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 open reduction?

Your child will be given general anesthesia to keep him or her asleep and free from pain during surgery. The surgeon will make an incision on your child's hip. A piece of the head of your child's femur may be removed. The surgeon will move the head of the femur back into the right position. A screw will be placed into the head of the femur to keep it in place. The incision will be closed with stitches and covered with a bandage.

What will happen after open reduction?

Your child will not be able to place weight on the side of his or her body where surgery was done for about 3 months. He or she will need to use crutches, or a wheelchair if surgery is done on both hips.

What are the risks of open reduction?

Your child may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Lack of blood flow to your child's bone may lead to death of bone tissue. This may cause your child's 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. The screws or wires may break, and your child may need a second surgery. Your child's sciatic nerve may be damaged during surgery. Your child's bone may not heal as expected after the surgery.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. 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.

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Further information

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