The bones of children and adults are susceptible to many of the same risks for injury. However, because the bones of a child are still growing, they are also subject to a unique injury called a growth plate fracture.
It is important that parents are aware of this risk. Growth plates are areas of cartilage located near the ends of bones and are the last part of a child’s bones to harden. Because of this, growth plates are particularly vulnerable to fracture.
According to OrthoInfo, around 15 to 30% of childhood fractures are growth plate fractures. Because the growth plate helps regulate the future length and shape of the developed bone, this kind of fracture requires prompt attention. Improper and/or delayed treatment could result in a crooked limb or an unequal length in comparison to the opposite limb. Fortunately, serious problems are rare, and with the right treatment, most growth plate fractures heal without complications.
A growth plate fracture usually causes persistent or severe pain. If you suspect your child has suffered this injury, consult your physician right away.
Visit OrthoInfo for more information on growth plate fractures.