A growth plate fracture affects the layer of growing tissue near the ends of a child's bones. Growth plates are the softest and weakest sections of the skeleton — sometimes even weaker than surrounding ligaments and tendons. An injury that might cause a joint sprain for an adult can cause a growth plate fracture in a child.
Growth plate fractures often need immediate treatment because they can affect how the bone will grow. An improperly treated growth plate fracture could result in a fractured bone ending up more crooked or shorter than its opposite limb. With proper treatment, most growth plate fractures heal without complications.
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.