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Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis


Slipped capital femoral epiphysis

(SCFE) is a hip condition that affects older children and teenagers. It occurs when the epiphysis (head) of the femur (thighbone) slips off the neck of the bone. This happens at the growth plate. The growth plate is a soft area of the bone that makes bones grow into their adult length and shape. It usually affects one side of the hip, but can affect both sides.

Hip and Pelvis

Common signs and symptoms include the following:

  • Hip stiffness
  • Pain in the hip, groin, thigh, or knee
  • Limping
  • One leg looks shorter than the other
  • One leg turns outward or inward
  • Trouble putting weight on the side of the affected hip

Call your child's healthcare provider if:

  • Your child has severe pain.
  • Your child cannot move his or her leg.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.


The goal of treatment is to keep the femur from slipping more. This will help to prevent future health problems, such as arthritis. Surgery will be done to insert 1 or 2 metal screws through the growth plate. This will help to keep the head of the femur from moving out of place.

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

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.