Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) is a hip condition that occurs in young adolescents when the upper end of the thigh bone (femur) slips out of the hip socket.

SCFE is the most common serious hip condition seen in teenagers. It is more common in boys than in girls, more common in very overweight teenagers, and often develops in only one hip.Adolescents with the condition are at risk for hip osteoarthritis later in life if it is not detected early and treated properly.

The symptoms of a slipped capital femoral epiphysis typically begin between the ages of 10 and 16, and may begin earlier in girls. They include:

  • Hip tenderness or pain and decreased movement
  • Mild to severe pain in the groin, thigh, leg or knee
  • Mild discomfort in the groin, thigh, or knee while walking or running
  • Stiffness and limping, especially when tired
  • Muscle spasms

Parents who notice any of these symptoms in their children should seek expert care from Lancaster Orthopedic Group as soon as possible.

Treatment for a slipped capital femoral epiphysis often includes surgical intervention to stabilize the growth plate to prevent further slippage of the femoral head while the child continues to grow. SCFE surgery can be complex, so it is important to seek the experienced care of a specialist to discuss the surgical options and the most appropriate course of treatment.