Back to Basics: Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis

Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis

  • fracture through the growthplate (physis) resulting in slippage of overlying end of femur (epiphysis)
  • may report antecedent trivial trauma
  • presentation: hip pain, groin pain, thigh pain, knee pain, limp &/or decreased range of motion of hip
  • most common in obese adolescent males or tall, thin, rapidly growing 
  • diagnosis:  AP & B/L frog leg lateral views
  • treatment: operative internal fixation; consider prophylactic treatment of asymptomatic hip (bilateral in up to 40%)
  • complications: avascular necrosis, degenerative arthritis, gait abnormalities, chronic pain



Image courtesy of Brian Freeze, MD



Rivers, Carol.  Orthopedic Emergencies.  In: Preparing for the Written Board Exam in Emergency Medicine.  7th ed.  Columbus, Ohio:  Ohio Chapter, American College of Emergency Physicians; 2014:  477.

Walter, K, Lin, Y, Schwartz, E.  Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis.  Medscape Website.  Updated Dec 2016.  Accessed July 18, 2017.