Growth Plate Fractures

Also known as: growth plate injuries

What are growth plate fractures?

The growth plates are the areas in children’s bones where bone growth is still occurring. They are made up mostly of cartilage and are near the ends of the bones. When a break occurs in these areas, it’s known as a growth plate fracture.

What causes growth plate fractures?

Accidents or injuries, often due to athletics, are the common cause of growth plate fractures. They can also occur due to repetitive motion of a joint or bone. They occur more often in boys than girls, often during the teenage years.

What are the symptoms of growth plate fractures?

Pain, difficulty moving the bone, swelling, warmth, tenderness and a deformity that you can see are all possible symptoms of growth plate fractures.

What are growth plate fracture care options?

In many cases, growth plate fractures will heal on their own if the bone is immobilized with a splint or sling. Other times, casts may be required to provide the needed immobilization. Surgical correction may be needed for severe or unusual growth plate fractures. Few growth plate fractures actually cause growth arrest.

Reviewed by: Craig Spurdle, MD

This page was last updated on: 6/14/2017 10:05:07 AM

From the Newsdesk

New Frontiers in Spine Surgery featuring Dr. Harry Shufflebarger
01/26/2018 — Dr. Harry Shufflebarger, Director of the Division of Spine Surgery at Nicklaus Children's Hospital is featured as part of this half hour segment in the Planet TV series for broadcast on national television.
Ryan's ACL Surgery Success Story
01/24/2018 — Our 10 year old son, Ryan, tore his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) in his left leg this past summer. I have frequently been asked, isn’t 10 years old very young to tear an ACL? Yes, for children that young, it is rare, but not unheard of.  And for adolescents and teenagers, ACL injuries are occurring more frequently, likely due to early sport specialization, and the increase in travel sports and year-round training.