Femoral epiphysis – slipped
Definition of Slipped capital femoral epiphysis
A slipped capital femoral epiphysis is a separation of the ball of the hip joint from the thigh bone (femur) at the upper growing end (growth plate) of the bone.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
A slipped capital femoral epiphysis may affect both hips.
Signs and tests
During a physical examination, the doctor will look for restricted hip motion and pain with attempted hip movement. A hip or pelvis x-ray shows displacement.
Surgery to stabilize the bone with pins or screws will prevent further slippage or displacement of the ball of the hip joint. Some surgeons may suggest using pins on the unaffected hip at the same time, because many children will develop a slip in that hip as well.
The outcome is usually good with treatment. However, in rare cases, the hip joint may wear away, despite prompt diagnosis and treatment.
Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/12/2010