Growth Plate Injuries
Growth plates are tissues that are weaker than normal bones, found in the long bones of the body. Growth plates help in growth and are found in a child’s bones. Once the growth is complete, it fuses and gets hardened to a solid bone. Most of the bones have two growth plates, each at both ends of the bone. An example of a long bone is the thigh bone (femur). A growth plate injury or abnormality leads to structural deformities.
- Direct blow to limbs
- Road traffic accidents
- Sports injuries
- A visible structural deformity or abnormality
- Pain at the site of injury
- Reduced range of movements
- Swelling near joints
Diagnosis of a growth plate injury can be difficult as the growth plates are not hardened to a solid bone. Imaging procedures might have to be repeated after a couple of days or weeks or might be compared to normal bones to diagnose a growth plate injury.
- Magnetic resonance imaging -MRI
- Computerised tomography -CT Scan
The only way to prevent the condition and to avoid further damage is to take good care and avoid falls or any risky activities that cause injuries.
Treatment for growth plate injuries depend on the location and severity of the injury and the child’s age.
- Splint for minor fractures or injuries
- Surgeries for more severe conditions mostly for re-aligning the injured part.
- Regular follow ups may be required until the growth gets completed and treatment may depend on the prognosis.
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