Slipped Femoral Capital Epiphysis

john miller physiotherapist

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

  • Gradual onset over weeks to months
  • Complaints of groin, hip, thigh or knee pain (similar to that of a muscle strain)
  • Walking with a limp
  • Hip joint range of motion restricted
  • It can also be associated with shortening of the affected leg
  • Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis Diagnosis

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.

Post-op Physiotherapy

Your physiotherapist can assist recovery after the operation. They can provide:

  • Advice and education on appropriate post-operative activity
  • Hip mobility exercises
  • Progressive hip stability and strengthening exercises
  • Assist with return to sport

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

  • Early Injury Treatment
  • Avoid the HARM Factors
  • Soft Tissue Injury? What are the Healing Phases?
  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • Core Exercises
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Balance Enhancement Exercises
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Agility & Sport-Specific Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Real Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Brace or Support
  • Bursitis Treatment
  • Dry Needling
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Prehabilitation
  • Strength Exercises
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • Video Analysis
  • Yoga
  • Helpful Products

    Hip Injuries

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    Related Injuries

    General Information

    Hip Joint Pain

    Lateral Hip Pain

    Adductor-related Groin Pain

    Pubic-related Groin Pain

    Inguinal-related Groin Pain

    • Inguinal hernia
    • Sportsman's hernia

    Iliopsoas-related Groin Pain

    • Hip Flexor Strain

    Other Muscle-related Pain

    Systemic Diseases

    Referred Sources

    Hip Surgery

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    FAQs about Slipped Femoral Capital Epiphysis

  • Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
  • What is Pain?
  • Physiotherapy & Exercise
  • When Should Diagnostic Tests Be Performed?
  • Can Kinesiology Taping Reduce Your Swelling and Bruising?
  • How Can You Prevent a Future Leg Injury?
  • How Much Treatment Will You Need?
  • Sports Injury? What to do? When?
  • What are the Common Massage Therapy Techniques?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What is a TENS Machine?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • What is Sports Physiotherapy?
  • What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
  • When Can You Return to Sport?
  • Why Kinesiology Tape Helps Reduce Swelling and Bruising Quicker
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    Last updated 14-Feb-2019 11:04 AM

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