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Fracture, Growth Plate

Fracture, Growth Plate Causes

Growth plate fractures are often caused by a fall or a blow to the limb. Overusing a certain part of the body such as undergoing sports training can also cause injury to the growth plates. Obesity can also lead to overuse-related growth plate fractures particularly in the hip area. Competitive sports such as football, basketball or gymnastic also account for a third of all growth plate injuries. Recreational activities such as biking, sledding, skiing, and skateboarding meanwhile account for 20 percent of growth plate injuries.

Fracture, Growth Plate Definition

Growth plates are the softer parts of a child's bones located at each end of the bone, where growth occurs. Growth plates are the weakest sections of the skeleton and since they are very fragile, an injury that would result in a joint sprain for an adult can cause a fracture in a child.

Fracture, Growth Plate Diagnosis

Growth plates are difficult to interpret on X-rays since they have not yet hardened into solid bone. In such cases, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) or ultrasound may be required.

Fracture, Growth Plate Symptoms and Signs

Fifty percent of all growth plate injuries occur in the forearm bone, at the wrist. Also susceptible to these types of injuries are the lower leg bones, the ankle, foot, or hip.

Fracture, Growth Plate Treatment

Growth plate fractures treatment depends on the severity of the fracture. Least serious cases usually require only a cast or a splint. In cases where a part of the bone end has separated from the bone shaft typically will need surgical repair. If a child has had a growth plate fracture, the doctor probably will want to compare the growth of the injured limb with that of its opposite limb every three to six months for at least two years.

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