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Symptoms of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis

Symptoms of SCFE include:

  • Problems walking
  • Limping
  • Mild pain in the hips, groin or around the knees
  • Severe pain that makes children stop putting weight on the leg that hurts
  • Stiffness in the hip
  • Less movement than usual in the hip

Children may not have had any injury before the pain starts.

Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis Diagnosis

Grading severity of SCFE. Courtesy of “Fundamentals of Pediatric Orthopedics,” 2003, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ©

Grading severity of SCFE.

When your child comes to our clinic, we examine them. We look for any problems your child has moving their legs and hips, including having pain and less motion than is usual.

Next we take X-rays. If the X-rays look normal, we may ask your child to have an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan of the hip to give us more information.

If your child does have SCFE, we will ask them to stop putting weight on the leg that is affected, even if it does not hurt. This will help lower the chance of more slipping. In most cases, we will have your child stay in the hospital for surgical treatment.

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

Should your child see a doctor?

Find out by selecting your child’s symptom or health condition in the list below:

Summer 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Understanding the Power and Influence of Role Models
  • Legal Marijuana Means Greater Poisoning Risks for Children
  • Why Choose Pediatric Emergency Care?

Download Summer 2014 (PDF)