Slipped Femoral Capital Epiphysis
Article by John Miller
What is Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis?
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE) also known as Slipped Upper Femoral Epiphysis (SUFE) is a disorder involving the hip joint. It occurs in adolescence. It involves weakness of the growth plate (epiphyseal plate) located at the top of the femur (thigh bone) causing the head of the femur to slip backwards and downwards.
What Causes Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis?
The cause of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis is unknown however there is speculation that increased weight and hormones may play a role. In some cases, it may be caused by trauma or a fall.
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis Symptoms
Clinical examination will show a decrease in hip joint range of motion. Diagnosis includes and x-ray and possibly CT scan.
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis Treatment
Treatment usually requires an operation where a screw is inserted to stabilise the growth plate and prevent further slipping of the femoral head. Following this, your child will be unable to fully weight-bear for a period of time, around 6 weeks, and will require crutches or a wheelchair. The screws can be removed later on, once the growth plate has fused.
Rest from intense activities such as running and contact sports will be required to allow the growth plate to fuse. Once the growth plate is stable, your return to intense activities can begin.
Your physiotherapist can assist recovery after the operation. They can provide:
The Physiotherapists at Physioworks can help get your child back on track following surgery, even if your surgeon does not specifically mention physiotherapy. If you have any questions or would like your child to start a rehabilitation program please contact us.
Common Hip Treatments
Hip Joint Pain
Lateral Hip Pain
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