Learn About Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis

What is the definition of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis?

A slipped capital femoral epiphysis is a separation of the ball of the hip joint from the thigh bone (femur) at the upper growing end (growth plate) of the bone.

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What are the alternative names for Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis?

Femoral epiphysis - slipped

What are the causes of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis?

A slipped capital femoral epiphysis may affect both hips.

An epiphysis is an area at the end of a long bone. It is separated from the main part of the bone by the growth plate. In this condition, the problem occurs in the upper area while the bone is still growing.

Slipped capital femoral epiphysis occurs in about 2 out of every 100,000 children. It is more common in:

  • Growing children ages 11 to 15, especially boys
  • Children who are obese
  • Children who are growing rapidly

Children with hormone imbalances caused by other conditions are at higher risk for this disorder.

What are the symptoms of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis?

Symptoms include:

  • Difficulty walking, walking with a limp that came on quickly
  • Knee pain
  • Hip pain
  • Hip stiffness
  • Outward-turning leg
  • Restricted hip movements
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What are the current treatments for Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis?

Surgery to stabilize the bone with pins or screws will prevent the ball of the hip joint from slipping or moving out of place. At times, the hip joint has to be opened up to allow the surgeon to realign the hip. Some surgeons may suggest using pins on the other hip at the same time. This is because many children will develop this problem in that hip later.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis?

The outcome is most often good with treatment. In rare cases, the hip joint may wear away, despite prompt diagnosis and treatment.

What are the possible complications of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis?

This disorder is linked to a greater risk for osteoarthritis later in life. Other potential but rare complications include reduced blood flow to the hip joint and wearing away of hip joint tissue. This can lead to increased pain and stiffness of the joint, even at young age.

When should I contact a medical professional for Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis?

If your child has ongoing pain or other symptoms of this disorder, have the child lie down right away and stay still until you get medical help.

How do I prevent Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis?

Weight control for obese children may be helpful. Many cases are not preventable.

What are the latest Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis Clinical Trials?
SLIP Registry - SCFE Longitudinal International Prospective Registry
Summary: Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE) is the most common disorder of the adolescent hip and diagnosis and treatment of SCFE remain areas of controversy and investigation. The current issues relating to diagnosis stem from an inability to diagnose the condition early on, resulting in increased morbidity. Once diagnosed, there are multiple different options for surgical treatment, including in-si...
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What are the Latest Advances for Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis?
A Retrospective Study of Risk Factors and Outcomes in the Surgical Management of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis.
Summary: A Retrospective Study of Risk Factors and Outcomes in the Surgical Management of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis.
Controlled repositioning and primary osteoplasty as a treatment option for the management of unstable slipped capital femoral epiphysis.
Summary: Controlled repositioning and primary osteoplasty as a treatment option for the management of unstable slipped capital femoral epiphysis.
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The British Orthopaedic Surgery Surveillance study: slipped capital femoral epiphysis : the epidemiology and two-year outcomes from a prospective cohort in Great Britain.
Summary: The British Orthopaedic Surgery Surveillance study: slipped capital femoral epiphysis : the epidemiology and two-year outcomes from a prospective cohort in Great Britain.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: November 12, 2020
Published By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Sankar WN, Winell JJ, Horn BD, Wells L. The hip. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 698.

Sawyer JR, Spence DD. Fractures and dislocations in children. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 36.