How to Cope with Slipped Capital Femoral Epyphisis (SCFE)

Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (known simply as SCFE) is the dislocation of the head of the thigh bone. If you are looking to cope with this uncommon condition, here are a few steps you can take.


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    Look for the symptoms of SCFE. If your condition is mild, you will feel pain either in the groin area or in the knee, and you will still be able to support your own weight easily. Rapid swelling often indicates a more serious injury. If the bone is poking through the skin, seek immediate medical care.
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    Go to a doctor. Apply a home treatment while you wait to see a doctor. Begin the RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) process immediately.
    • If possible, it is probably a good idea to take an x-ray of the hips with you. One x-ray will be a normal one with your legs extended, and the other one in a position called "frog legs". You have to bend your legs towards you and split them up as much as you can. You can ask the technician in the X-ray center about this.
  3. Image titled Cope with Slipped Capital Femoral Epyphisis (SCFE) Step 3
    Rest. If you are diagnosed with SCFE, the doctor will probably recommend either resting your legs as much as you can by way of crutches or a wheelchair in severe cases.
  4. Image titled Cope with Slipped Capital Femoral Epyphisis (SCFE) Step 4
    Keep in mind that surgery may be a solution. If the doctor says that you require surgery, stay calm. The surgery is a simple procedure that consists of a fixation of the hip using a screw. You might want to discuss the pros and cons of the surgery before committing, as you may be on bedrest for awhile.
    • If you are going to have surgery, you'll probably have crutches until the day of the surgery.
    • Keep in mind that after the surgery, your hip will hurt. You will be assigned to a wheelchair for about one month. For the first few days, you will have difficulty moving in bed because of pain. The hospital should normally give you a saline solution through an IV for that.
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    Allow time to recover properly. Recovery time is rather long. First you use a wheelchair, then crutches. Then, depending on your progress, you either remove the crutches or use one crutch for a month or so. Your activity level will have to decrease, and you'll be asked to take a hiatus from sports like soccer and tennis that involve a lot of running and intense movement.


  • Always take a note from your doctor on your way to the airport, because your screw will probably set the metal detectors off.
  • Some doctors prefer to fix both hips in the same surgery, because SCFE is 40% bilateral.
  • Never try walking on your leg unless advised to do so. It might be tempting, but it might ruin all the surgery.
  • There is now way to prevent SCFE, but staying in shape might prevent it, because obesity is one of the factors for SCFE.
  • Remember that SCFE affects more boys than girls by a ratio of 2:1.


  • Don't wait too long to decide whether to do surgery or not, especially if your case is mild or severe. The longer you wait, the worst it gets.
  • Beware that severe SCFE can cause avascular necrosis (lack of blood supply leading to tissue death) if left untreated.

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