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JAMA Patient Page
February 13, 2013

Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis

JAMA. 2013;309(6):620. doi:10.1001/2012.jama.10808

Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) is an orthopedic condition of children and adolescents. The epiphysis is the end of a long bone and is joined to the bone at the growth plate (physis). In SCFE, the physis in the head of the femur (thigh bone) becomes loose. As a result, the epiphysis separates from the rest of the bone and the femur moves out of alignment in the hip joint.

This condition affects approximately 10 in 100 000 adolescents in the United States. It is most commonly found in adolescents who are male, African American, and obese. Because it involves the growing portion of the bone, SCFE does not occur in children who have finished growing. It can affect just one hip or both hips. The severity is based on how much of the epiphysis has slipped off of the femur. The cause is unknown.