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Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis Care

How to Care for a Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis

Your child has been treated for a condition of the hips called slipped capital femoral epiphysis (ih-PIF-ih-sis), or SCFE (skiffee). Surgery was done to help keep the head and neck of the femur bone (the long bone in the thigh) in place while healing takes place.

Your child will need to protect the hip for the next few months. The instructions below will help you care for your child during this time. Sports and gym class will be restricted for at least six weeks.

Your child may be able to be up walking with the aid of crutches or a walker. Your doctor will let you know how much weight your child is allowed to bear on the affected leg.


  • Watch the wound closely for new drainage on the dressing, and for any opening at the site of the surgery.
  • Watch for any foul odor coming from the bandage. You will be told if the wound dressing should be changed or left open to air.
  • Your child will get pain medicine to help with his or her pain. Follow the directions for the medicine carefully.
  • The doctor will let you know if your child can take a shower or will have to have sponge baths. Do not give or allow your child to take a tub bath until your doctor says it is OK.

Transporting Your Child

Your child's nurse will help you find the safest transportation to use to take your child home. Your child will go home by one of the following methods:

  • Personal car
  • Ambulance

Home Medical Equipment

Medical equipment you may need at home to help care for your child includes:

  • Walker
  • Wheelchair
  • Crutches

Ask your child's nurse to suggest a home medical equipment company for your use, if unable to use Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center...

Call Your Child's Doctor If:

  • Your child has a temperature over 101.5°F (38°C)
  • Your child's pain is not relieved by prescription medication, acetaminophen (i.e., Tylenol) or ibuprofen (i.e., Advil)
  • You notice new drainage on the bandage, opening of the operative area or a foul odor from the operative area
  • Your child has pain in the opposite hip, thigh or knee that is similar to the pain he / she had before surgery on the operated side. Your child may be developing SCFE on the other hip.

Last Updated 03/2022

Reviewed By Sharon Marshall, LPN

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