SCFE (Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis)

A disorder of hip joint during adolescent age group during growth spurt. A painless stable mobile hip joint is necessary for all physical activities like walking, running, jumping. But slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) is a hip condition that causes painful restrictions of movements with limp or even unable bear the weight. Timely diagnosis and appropriate intervention prevent possible complications and deformities.

In slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) femur (thigh bone) head slips over neck results in painful restriction of movements.


Commonly seen in obese and hyperactive children with some endocrinal disorders. During growth spurt slip occur at weakest zone of growth plate.


Painful restriction of movements of hip, limp, unable to bear weight and deformity are commonly seen symptoms. A child may experience intermittent pain in his groin, knee, thigh, or hip, if he is suffering from mild or stable SCFE. On the other hand, symptoms of severe or unstable SCFE includes a child experiencing pain suddenly, inability to walk or run, and the affected leg turning outward. Symptoms of SCFE may aggravate when the child performs any physical activity.


Pain in hip/groin/knee during the growth years should be examined properly by an expert. Clinical examination is significantly important as it gives great help in making diagnosis. While diagnosing SCFE, an orthopaedic checks if the child is finding it difficult to move his leg or hip. A series of X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the pelvis with both hip is also helpful.


It’s a surgical emergency and needed emergency surgery. However, we recommend the child to take adequate rest, use crutches, and avoid putting pressure on the affected leg to prevent the growth plate from slipping further. The experienced orthopaedic even advise the parents to get the child admitted to the hospital and perform the surgery without any delay. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia and using specialized equipment.


Once the surgery is over, the child can walk with crutches after a few days. Post op physiotherapy and exercises are recommended for faster recovery.


Q: – Is surgery is necessary?? Any medical treatment available??

A: – Yes, surgery is recommended for it without any delay to prevent further complications.