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Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE)

If your child experiences hip problems they may have SCFE. Our paediatric experts can make a diagnosis and treat them

About

SCFE is a hip condition that can be experienced by adolescents. This occurs when the ball that rests at the top of the femur (thighbone) moves backwards from the neck of the bone. It can occur as a result of growth spurts, a fall/trauma or excessive weight issues. Your child's consultant can assess them and determine whether surgery may be required.

Need to know

  • Symptoms icon plus

    Symptoms of SCFE include:

    • Sudden pain resultant from a fall
    • External rather than internal rotation of you child's affected leg
    • Inability to walk freely
    • The affected leg may appear shorter than the other
  • Diagnosis icon plus

    Your child's consultant will discuss their symptoms with you to help make a diagnosis. They will carry out a physical examination. This is to assess if pain is experienced in your child's hip motion. The consultant will also observe if there gait is irregular (the way they walk). An X-ray will help determine whether a procedure is needed.
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    The aim of surgery is to prevent further slipping of the femoral head (the ball that rests on the hip socket). Procedure options include: - In situ fixation for stable SCFE (still able to walk freely). Your child's surgeon will make a small incision at the hip. A metal screw is inserted in the femoral head to stabilise it. - In situ fixation in the opposite hip. This will take place if your child's other hip is at risk of SCFE. - Open reduction for unstable SCFE (can't walk freely). An open incision is made at the hip. The femoral head is moved back to its natural position. One or two metal screws will be inserted to hold the bone in place.
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • The Portland Hospital Facility

    The Portland Hospital

    205 - 209 Great Portland Street

    London

    W1W 5AH

    Childrens enquiries 020 7390 8020
    Maternity enquiries 020 7390 6068
    Gynaecology enquiries 020 7390 6200

  • Institute of Sport Exercise and Health Facility

    Institute of Sport Exercise and Health

    170 Tottenham Court Road

    London

    W1T 7HA

    Call 020 3447 2800
    [Mon | Weds | Fri] 8am - 6pm
    [Tues | Thurs] 8am - 8pm

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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