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Growth Plate Fracture Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Growth Plate Fracture?

A growth plate fracture is a fracture which affects the layer of growing tissue near the ends of a child or adolescent’s long bones.

Children are more prone to growth plate fractures since they are growing and hence their bones are subjected to constant change unlike adults.

Due to this, approximately 15% of fractures which develop to children are growth plate fractures. Growth plates are areas of cartilage located near the ends of the bones and are vulnerable to injuries.

Growth fractures require impromptu treatment since they affect how bones will grow in the long run. Such treatment should be proper in nature, since an improper treatment may result in a crooked limb. With proper treatment, there are no long-term complications which can arise.

Classifications within growth plate fractures may include:

  • Type I Fractures
  • These fractures break through the bone at the growth plate, separating the bone end from the bone shaft and completely disrupt the growth plate.
  • Type II Fractures
  • These fractures break through part of the bone at the growth plate and crack through the bone shaft.
  • Type III Fractures
  • These fractures cross through a portion of the growth plate and break off a piece of the bone end.
  • Type IV Fractures
  • These fractures break through the bone shaft, the growth plate, and the end of the bone.
  • Type V Fractures
  • These fractures occur due to a crushing injury to the growth plate from a compression force.

Causes Of Growth Plate Fractures:

Growth plate fractures are caused due to the following reasons:

  • A car accident or trauma
  • Competitive sports
  • Football
  • Basketball
  • Running
  • Dancing
  • gymnastics
  • Recreational activities
  • Biking
  • Sledding
  • Skiing
  • Skateboarding
  • Overuse of the bone

Growth plate fractures are twice more likely to occur in boys than girls. Moreover, the risk of such fractures ceases to exist after 12 since by that age the growth plates have already matured into solid bones.

Symptoms Of Growth Plate Fracture:

The following signs and symptoms may be exhibited:

  • Pain and tenderness, particularly in response to pressure on the growth plate
  • Inability to move the affected area
  • Warmth and swelling at the end of a bone, near a joint
  • Distorted shape of the affected limb

Diagnosis Of Growth Plate Fracture:

Growth plates can be diagnosed via:

  • X-ray of both the affected and unaffected limb (for comparison)
  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • Ultrasound

Treatment Of Growth Plate Fractures:

Treatment depends upon the severity and extent of growth plate fracture. The following treatment options are available:

  • Putting a cast on the affected limb
  • Medication to relieve pain
  • Surgery

By : Natural Health News

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