What is Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis?

SCFE is a condition that affects the femoral head at the level of the growth plate where the femoral head slips off the neck. In lay terms, can be described as the ice cream falling off the ice-cream cone. Treatment varies depending on the type of slip and severity. This most often happens in patients between the ages of 10-16 that are overweight but can also happen earlier. The slipping of the head can last months and can feel like a pulled muscle and the child may limp.


The cause of SCFE is unknown. It can be due to an underlying medical problem especially in younger children. In most cases it is due to weakness of the growth plate, being overweight or from minor falls or trauma. Slippage of the epiphysis (the ball portion of the hip bone) is a gradual and slow process, however it may occur suddenly in cases of trauma or falls. This can happen on one side, or can happen on both hips. Once it happens to one hip, careful attention needs to be taken to assess the other hip as well.


  • Several weeks or months of hip or knee pain
  • Limping or change of gait
  • Leg and foot are turned out
  • Child is unable to easily get up and down
  • Sudden severe pain in case of trauma or fall


Understanding the underlying causes and properly diagnosing your condition is the first step to treatment. We then provide a holistic approach to helping patients and their families through their surgical journey. Properly supporting you and/or your child, while educating you on the details helps us ensure the most successful outcomes possible. Our hands on, team approach makes patients feel supported throughout the whole treatment process.

To learn more about your condition and receive a diagnosis, schedule a virtual consultation with one of our experienced orthopedic doctors. During this consultation, all your questions will be answered as our specialists guide you through the evaluation process.



Articulated Hip distraction


In situ pinning for SCFE


Surgical hip dislocation

Case studies

14 year old boy with right hip pain
12 year old boy with right hip SCFE


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Highly specialized expert care at CLLC

At the Canadian Limb Lengthening Centre we offer complex deformity correction and limb lengthening surgeries performed by experienced surgeons with the most up to date technologies. When it comes to your care, and treatment of deformity and limb length discrepancy, our surgeons have extensive training and experience.