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Conditions / Hips / Children


SCFE (Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis) is a paediatric condition affecting children usually between the ages of 11-13.

The hip is a ball and socket joint. The ball being the top end of the thigh bone (femur bone). In the ball there is a growth plate or centre from which our femur bone grows as we get older. This growth plate is made of soft cartilage. SCFE is when we fracture through the growth plate. This causes pain and difficulty walking on the affected hip.

This condition can be associated with trauma eg car accident, sports injury. It also commonly occurs in children who overload the growth plate overtime with sheer weight of their body (ie obese children). If patients are of normal weight but have an abnormal growth plate this also creates an injury to the femoral head/ball.

This is generally an acute injury that requires immediate orthopaedic attention and surgery most of the time. Treatment is aimed at stabilising the femoral bone/ball and hip joint as well as preventing future deformity and problems.