Growth plate injuries are scary for both the child affected and their parents. Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Andrew B. Weiss, MD, specializes in pediatric orthopedic trauma, including growth plate injuries, at his practice in Beverly Hills, California. Dr. Weiss understands the importance of communication with both the parent and child. If you think your child has a growth plate fracture, call or book an appointment online today.
Growth plates are the soft sections of cartilage located near the ends of children’s bones. These areas contain growing tissue that hasn’t yet hardened into bone (ossified). Because they’re so fragile, growth plates are especially vulnerable to breaks (fractures).
About 15-30% of broken bones in children are growth plate fractures. Because the growth plate affects how the bone grows and develops in shape, this type of fracture usually needs treatment within 5-7 days.
Dr. Weiss and his team are dedicated to providing advanced pediatric fracture treatment in a timely manner with after-hours orthopedic care.
Growth plate fractures usually result from acute trauma, such as a fall off the monkey bars. They can also develop gradually from repetitive stress, such as overtraining for sports. About one-third of growth plate injuries occur during competitive sports, such as basketball, football, or gymnastics.
Because girls finish growing at a younger age than boys do, growth plate injuries are about twice as common in boys. The growth plates in most girls mature into the solid bone by age 12.
Dr. Weiss has extensive experience providing fracture care for children with growth plate injuries. He knows how important it is to communicate with both parent and child in a clear, compassionate manner.
To determine the type, location, and severity of your child’s growth plate fracture, Dr. Weiss performs a physical exam and takes an in-office digital X-ray. Then, he spends as much time as needed to explain your child’s injury, as well as the best options for treatment.
Many growth plate fractures heal with nonsurgical treatments, such as cast immobilization. Dr. Weiss uses the most advanced materials for casting, including 3M® products and waterproof AquaCast® Liners.
Some fractures may require surgery to align the bones. Dr. Weiss may use metal screws or wires to hold the bones in place as they heal. After the bone heals, Dr. Weiss may recommend physical therapy or specific exercises to restore normal movement to the area.
For professional and compassionate care of growth plate injuries, call Andrew B. Weiss, MD, or book an appointment online today.