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Health Information For Parents
Growth plates are the areas of active, new bone growth near the ends of bones. They’re made up of cartilage, a rubbery, flexible material (the nose, for instance, is made of cartilage).
When kids are done growing, the growth plates harden into solid bone. This happens in girls around ages 13–15 and in boys around ages 15–17.
A growth plate fracture is a break in the growth plate of a child or teen. They happen most often in the bones of the fingers, forearm, and lower leg.
Most growth plate fractures happen from falling or twisting. Contact sports (like football or basketball) or fast-moving activities (like skiing, skateboarding, sledding, or biking) are common causes. Growth plate fractures also can happen from repetitive activities, like training for gymnastics or pitching a baseball.
A child with a growth plate fracture can have pain, swelling, and trouble moving and using the injured body part. Sometimes there is a deformity — this means that the body part looks crooked or different than it did before the injury.
Health care providers will order X-rays if they think a bone is broken. Some mild growth plate fractures don’t show up on an X-ray, though.
Often, a growth plate fracture may be mild and need only rest and a cast or splint.
But if bones are out of place (or displaced), they have to be put back into the right position with a procedure called a reduction. A reduction is also called “setting the bone.”
There are two types of reductions:
After an open or closed reduction, the child will usually wear a cast, splint, or brace to make sure the bones don’t move during healing.
Most growth plate fractures heal and do not affect future bone growth.
However, sometimes changes in the growth plate from the fracture can cause problems later. For example, the bone could end up a little crooked or slightly longer or shorter than expected. If the bone does not grow normally, surgery or other treatments may be needed.
Most kids recover from growth plate fractures without any long-term problems. Help your child follow the health care provider’s directions. Go to all follow-up doctor visits to make sure the bones heal well and continue to grow normally.
Many kids will have a broken bone at some point. Here’s what to expect.
Broken bones have an amazing ability to heal, especially in kids. Full healing can take time, but new bone usually forms a few weeks after an injury.
Casts keep bones and other tissues in place while they heal. Here’s what to expect, and how to care for casts.
Sever’s disease, a common heel injury in kids, is due to inflammation (swelling) of the growth plate in the heel. While painful, it’s only temporary and has no long-term effects.
A broken bone needs emergency medical care. Here’s what to do if you think your child just broke a bone.
Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE) is a shift at the upper part of the thighbone, or femur, that results in a weakened hip joint. Fortunately, when caught early, most cases of SCFE can be treated successfully.
This article for teens has tips on taking care of a cast so it keeps working as it should.
What happens when you break a bone?
Healthy knees are needed for many activities and sports and getting hurt can mean some time sitting on the sidelines.
Overuse (or repetitive stress) injuries happen when too much stress is placed on a part of the body, causing problems like swelling, pain, muscle strain, and tissue damage.
Without bones, muscles, and joints, we couldn’t stand, walk, run, or even sit. The musculoskeletal system supports our bodies, protects our organs from injury, and enables movement.
Osgood-Schlatter disease (OSD) is one of the most common causes of knee pain in adolescents. It’s really not a disease, but an overuse injury.
Some injuries will heal best if a cast is used. Find out how they work and how to take care of them in this article for kids.
Our bones, muscles, and joints form our musculoskeletal system and enable us to do everyday physical activities.
Blount disease is a growth disorder that causes the bones of the lower leg to bow outward. This gets worse if it’s not treated, so early diagnosis is very important.
Blount disease is a growth disorder that affects the bones of the lower leg. It causes bowing of the leg below the knee, which gets worse if it’s not treated.
Bones are tough stuff – but even tough stuff can break. Find out what happens when a bone fractures.
Growth plates are the areas of new bone growth, usually near the ends of long bones. A growth plate is weaker than solid bone. This makes it more likely to get injured.
Leg length discrepancy is when someoneâs legs are different lengths. For a big difference or one that’s likely to get worse, treatment is recommended.
Babies who have fibular hemimelia are born with a short or missing fibula. Experts who treat bone problems have several options to help kids with a hemimelia.
Repetitive stress injuries (RSIs) happen when movements are repeated over and over, damaging a bone, tendon, or joint.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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