Growth plates are discs of cartilage located at the end of long bones — the area of the bone where growth occurs — in children and adolescents. Growth plates are usually described as open or closed. When they are open, bones continues to grow and lengthen, but a child is considered done growing when they are closed.
A fracture is a break in the growth plate. A fractured growth plate may cause persistent pain and may hinder a child from applying pressure to the area.
Growth Plate Fractures: What You Need to Know
- Falls account for a majority of growth plate fractures, followed by sports injuries and bike and car accidents.
- X-rays are usually taken to diagnose a growth plate fracture, but additional tests, including an ultrasound, CT scan or MRI, may also be used.
- Growth plate fractures are usually treated using a splint or cast, but some injuries may require surgery to ensure the best alignment for normal bone growth to continue.
- The most serious complication of a growth plate fracture is early closure of the growth plate, which may result in the affected bone not growing as long as the limb on the opposite side or may cause a deformity in the affected limb.
Why Choose Johns Hopkins for treatment of a growth plate fracture?
Rely on the expertise of our physicians to help you manage your child's growth plate fracture.
Our physician assistants (PAs) and nurse practitioners (NPs) specialize in pediatric orthopaedics and play a key role in providing care to our patients and families.
Meet our staff that cares for children with growth plate fractures: