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Diagnosis of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE) often delayed in children

Posted Monday, July 16, 2018 by Tyler Goldberg-Hoss

Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE or “Skiffy”) is a condition where a teen or preteen’s hip is fractured at the growth plate. This results in the femur slipping off the neck of the epiphysis (the round end or ball which sits in the socket of the hip).

A recent study found that over 3/4s of patients under 16 with a SCFE diagnosis had multiple primary care contacts with symptomatology before the actual diagnosis is made. Researchers noted that front line providers like primary care doctors need to be on the lookout not only for children with hip pain, but also for knee pain, which can be caused by SCFE. In addition, overweight and obese adolescents are at greater risk, as are children living in lower socioeconomic situations.

Delays in diagnosing SCFE can be serious, including a loss of blood flow to the epiphysis (necessitating a hip replacement), or a permanent pinning of the femur in a suboptimal anatomic position to prevent further slipping.

You can find the full study here:

A nationwide cohort study of slipped capital femoral epiphysis

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