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Treatment for Growth Plate Injuries

Providing a comprehensive approach to treating growth plate injuries

In children and adolescents, growth plates are areas located near the end of the long bones where new tissue develops. Each long bone has at least two growth plates that eventually become solid bone when growing is finished during late adolescence. Because the growth plates are weaker than nearby ligaments and tendons that connect bones and muscles, they are frequently the location of injuries. Often, injuries that would only cause a sprain in an adult could cause significant damage to a child's growth plate. Growth plate injuries account for as much as one-third of all childhood fractures and frequently result from injuries while playing or participating in competitive sports.

Growth plate injuries commonly occur in these bones:

  • Wrist
  • Lower bones of the leg
  • Long bones of the fingers
  • Ankle
  • Foot
  • Hip bone

Treatment Options for Growth Plate Injuries

Growth plate injuries are treated by the world-class orthopedic team at Winthrop-University Hospital. Casts or splints are the first treatment option when a fracture is found. In some cases, an orthopedic surgeon will need to reposition the bones or joints to correct positions to facilitate proper healing. This is either done by hand (manipulation) or with surgery.