Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis

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Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE) is a hip disorder that occurs in adolescence. SCFE occurs when the ball at the upper end of the femur (femoral head) slips off the neck of the femur through a weakness in the upper femoral growth plate. After the slip, the femoral head is facing backwards. The condition typically occurs over time during periods of accelerated growth, but it may also occur as a result of trauma.

Children suffering from SCFE may experience pain, particularly in the knee, and/or develop a limp. The affected leg may also turn outward and appear to be shorter than the other leg. The exact cause of SCFE is unknown. It affects males three times more often than females. Many affected children are overweight.

During a physical examination, children with SCFE will have reduced range of motion due to impingement of the femoral head on the acetabulum. There is a loss of hip flexion and the patient will be unable to rotate their hip inward.

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