A slipped capital femoral epiphysis occurs when the upper end of
the thighbone (femur) slips at the area where the bone is growing (growth
plate or physis) and does not fit in the hip socket correctly. The condition is
most common in teenagers.
Rapid growth and a hormone imbalance during adolescence may cause
the femur to slip.
Symptoms usually begin about 8 to 16 years of age, and they may
begin earlier in girls than in boys.
Symptoms may be triggered by growing or gaining weight quickly.
Symptoms may include:
Hip tenderness and decreased movement during
the early stages of the condition.
Increased pain when the toes are
turned in toward midline (internal rotation of the hip).
discomfort in the groin, thigh, or knee while walking or running. Rest relieves
Stiffness and a limp, especially when the person
Treatment to prevent further slippage and reduce complications of
the condition often involves surgery to secure the growth plate (physis) with a
single screw or with pins. A slipped capital femoral epiphysis may lead to
early degenerative arthritis of the hip if it is not detected early and treated
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.