7 Effective Treatments For Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis In Children

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A highly active and healthy child suddenly complains of excruciating pain and starts limping. The pain won’t go away and there is stiffness in the hip region.

Your child may have been affected by what is called Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis, which usually affects adolescents and kids leaning towards obesity. The condition can also be genetic, which means your seemingly healthy kid can get affected. Worrisome, isn’t it?

MomJunction has compiled every bit of detail you need to know about Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis in children and how you can help them deal with it. Keep reading and you’ll understand.

What Is Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis?

Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis in children is commonly known as SCFE and this disorder usually occurs during the adolescence period. When children suffer from this condition:

  • Their epiphyseal plate or the growth plate which is found at the top of their thigh bone would be weaker.
  • The ball or femur’s head slips downwards or goes back.

[ Read: Jumper’s Knee In Children ]

Classifications Of Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis:

The Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis in children is classified in to two, namely:

1. Stable SCFE: This classification refers to mild slip as it makes the children to feel a bit of stiffness or pain in their groin or knee region, which can sometimes lead to limp. This condition can get worse with activities and feel better if the children take rest.

2. Unstable SCFE: This is a severe condition which can make the children experience lot of pain. Children would lose the capacity to bear some weight on their affected leg’s side. This condition would even restrict the flow of blood to the joints of the hip, causing the tissues present in the femur’s top to die.

Though the exact cause of this condition is not known, there might be a link between the hormones of children during puberty and their increase in body weight. However, this is not connected with any injury in children. Fortunately, if this condition of SCFE in children is diagnosed early, then it can be successfully treated.

[ Read: Blount Disease In Children ]

Which Children Face A Higher Risk Of SCFE?

Both boys and girls are prone to SCFE during their teenage period or just when they step in to their adolescent age. Some other features can also increase the chances of children to have this issue, such as:

  • Children who are overweight.
  • Children who have a SCFE family history.
  • Children who have issues related to endocrine gland, which secretes hormones or have endocrine diseases like diabetes or Cushing syndrome.
  • Children who have medical conditions such as abnormalities in growth hormones, kidney failure and thyroid issues.

[ Read: Nursemaid’s Elbow In Children ]

Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis Symptoms:

Children affected with Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis would experience the following symptoms, such as:

  • Issues in walking.
  • Limping.
  • Slight pain in knees, hips or groin.
  • Excruciating pain, which prevents children to put their weight on the affected leg.
  • Stiffness at the hip.
  • Able to perform very less movement with hip.
  • Pain begins all of a sudden without any injury.

Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis Treatment:

Children with Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis must visit an orthopedic doctor as the condition requires treatment for the bones. The diagnosis and treatment would include:

  1. The doctor would perform a physical examination on the child to determine the hips and leg’s motion range and to know the level of pain.
  2. He would also require an X-ray of the hip region of the child, to find if the head of the thighbone is displaced.
  3. If X-ray is not satisfactory then he might suggest an MRI scan or bone scan to note the differences in the soft tissue, joints or cartilage.
  4. He would advice surgery to treat this SCFE condition by stabilizing the bone.
  5. The patient would be advised to use crutches before and after the surgery to avoid putting body weight on the weak leg.
  6. For milder slips, the young patient can leave the hospital in a day after surgery but for severe slips, it would need an elaborate surgery and long stay in hospital.
  7. The doctor might advise physical therapy to improve the young patient’s hip muscles and leg muscles.

[ Read: Fifth Disease In Children ]

Though there are no ways to prevent Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis in children. You being a parent can try to maintain the body weight of your children, by encouraging them to eat healthy and follow a workout pattern which would improve the bones and joints.

We hope that the information we compiled for you here proves useful for you. If you have more info on the same, please do share with other readers in the comment section below.

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