Treatment for growth plate fractures depends on the severity of the fracture. The least serious fractures usually require only a cast or a splint. If the fracture crosses the growth plate or goes into the joint and is not well-aligned, surgery may be necessary. Growth plates that are surgically realigned may have a better chance of recovering and growing again than do growth plates that are left in a poor position.
At the time of injury, it's difficult to tell if a growth plate has permanent damage. Your doctor may recommend checking X-rays for several years after the fracture to make sure the growth plate is growing appropriately. Depending on the location and severity of the fracture, your child may need follow-up visits until his or her bones have finished growing.
June 16, 2016
- Growth plate injuries. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health_Info/Growth_Plate_Injuries. Accessed March 29, 2016.
- Growth plate fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00040. Accessed March 29, 2016.
- Mathison DJ, et al. General principles of fracture management: Fracture patterns and description in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 29, 2016.
- Kliegman RM, et al. Common fractures. In: Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2016. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 29, 2016.
- Marx JA, et al., eds. General principles of orthopedic injuries. In: Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 29, 2016.
- Shaughnessy WJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 16, 2016.