Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

by Administrator 22. October 2016 06:22

Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE) is a medical condition that affects the hip joint of people in their teen age. The hip is a ball and socket joint in which the head of the femur (thigh bone) rests in the socket referred to as the acetabulum. The femur has two plates at either end of the bone where the bone growth occurs. In some adolescents, the rounded head of the bone tends to slip out of the socket in the backwards direction causing pain and discomfort. A break or fracture in the growth plate causes instability of the femoral head (also known as capital) and it tends to slip out of its socket. This condition can be classified into two categories:

  • Stable SCFE- This is a less severe condition in which the person is able to bear body weight without the use of orthotic devices
  • Unstable SCFE- This condition creates a severe instability and the patient is unable to bear body weight


  • Genetic traits- People with a family history of SCFE are more likely to be affected
  • Metabolic disorders- Hyperthyroidism and Hypopituitarism are major risk factors for this condition
  • Obesity- People suffering from SCFE have been found to be overweight in most cases


  • Pain in the groin, thigh, hip and knee
  • Physical deformity in the legs
  • Limping
  • Inability to bear body weight
  • Muscle spasms


  • Detailed examination of the affected leg and the hip
  • Analysis of the patient’s medical, genetic history, past injuries and existing symptoms
  • Evaluation of the gait
  • Physical tests may be performed to check for loss in range of motion
  • X-ray imaging is done to study the position of the bone and it helps confirm the diagnosis


  • The aim of the treatment is to realign the bones and enable the patient to move freely. The patient is generally required to undergo surgical treatment within 2-3 days of diagnosis.
  • In-situ Fixation- A small incision is made in the hip. Screws and wires are used to fix the growth plates. This prevents the bone from slipping out and eventually the growth plates close once the patient attains maturity. This process is best suited in case of stable SCFE.
  • Open Reduction- A large incision is made in the affected joint and the bone is placed back in its original position. It is then fixed using screws
  • Post-operative care- The doctor may recommend using crutches to avoid bearing weight for a few weeks. Specific physical therapy sessions may be conducted to restore movement.

We at OrthoTexas, provide effective treatment for Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic doctors in Carrolton, TX, visit (972) 492 – 1334.

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