Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis | Testing and Diagnosis

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Contact the Child and Adult Hip Preservation Program

  • 617-355-6021
  • International: +1-617-355-5209
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At Boston Children's Hospital, we know that the first step to treating your child’s slipped capital femoral epiphysis is to form a complete and accurate diagnosis.

Our goal is to diagnose SCFE early in order to prevent the head of the thigh bone from slipping further, and thus preventing hip deformity. If your child receives a diagnosis of SCFE, he must avoid putting weight on the hip until after treatment. He may be instructed to use crutches or a wheelchair until he receives treatment.

Your child’s doctor will conduct a physical exam, during which he or she can often feel the ball popping in and out of the socket. The doctor will also take a family history (including any hip problems in your family) and may use diagnostic tests to get detailed images of your child’s hip joint.

In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for SCFE may include:

•   x-rays: a diagnostic test that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues,
    bones, and organs onto film; to diagnose SCFE, front and side views are usually needed, as well as views of the
    opposite knee.
•   MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
•   bone scan, blood tests (rarely needed)

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944

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