Drs Richard Warne and Michael Mason on Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis

June 14, 2021

Imaging of slipped capital femoral epiphysis.

By Drs Richard Warne and Michael Mason, radiologists, Wembley & Perth


Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE), or slip, is a disorder of the proximal femoral growth plate leading to slippage of the epiphysis relative to the metaphysis. It is one of the most commonly missed diagnoses in children, which can result in delayed treatment and increased morbidity.

Key messages
  • SCFE is an important diagnosis to consider in the adolescent with hip pain
  • Delayed diagnosis leads to increased severity of SCFE and greater risk of complications
  • Radiographs are the best first-line investigation with MRI useful for very early slips (can be occult on
    radiographs) or other pathology.

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