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When a child breaks a bone, it can be a painful, stressful and sometimes scary experience for them — and for parents. We know pediatric fractures require specialized care for children, whose bones are still growing, and our team has the patience, compassion and expertise to help children heal and get back to their active selves again.
After a fracture or soft tissue injury has been diagnosed and stabilized in an emergency room or urgent care center, you likely will be referred to a pediatric orthopedist.
A pediatric orthopedist has the experience and training to provide care especially for a child’s growing body. The specialist will work to get the child back to their usual activities as soon as possible.
Pediatric fractures require less time in a cast than adult fractures. In young children, most bone fractures can heal in four to six weeks. Teens generally take at least six weeks to heal. Typically, a child will have a cast for four to eight weeks.
Because children are still growing, they generally heal faster than adults. A pediatric orthopedist will identify how long a cast can stay in place to allow the fracture to heal without affecting growth and risking long-term complications.
A pediatric orthopedist will be able to determine if your child needs additional treatment, such as surgery, for the fracture. They will continue to monitor the healing process during follow-up appointments.
The team of pediatric orthopedists at Norton Children’s Orthopedics of Louisville, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, has the training, expertise and compassion to treat pediatric fractures and injuries in growing children and teens. We know kids love being active — running, jumping, riding bikes and playing sports — but some of their favorite activities also can cause injuries. We are ready to help your child get back to being active again.
We offer a wide variety of treatments depending on the location, type and seriousness of the fracture.
We treat the most common types of bone fractures in children, such as broken wrists and legs, as well as rare and complex types of pediatric fractures that require additional specialized treatment.
Growth plates are cartilage — a flexible material — that make up the areas of new bone growth in children and teens. Most growth plates are at the ends of bones and are the last portion of the bone to form. They can range in size from the thighbone to small bones in the hands and feet.
As a child grows, the growth plates harden into solid bone to become a closed growth plate. Growth plates close and bones stop growing around the end of puberty: age 13 to 15 for girls and 15 to 17 for boys.
The growth plate is weaker than solid bone, making it more susceptible to injury.
A pediatric growth plate fracture happens most often in the fingers, forearm and lower leg. Most growth plate fractures heal without affecting future bone growth. However, sometimes a growth plate fracture can leave a child’s bone a little crooked or longer or shorter than its uninjured counterpart.
Overuse injuries can affect the growth plate and usually happen to kids who play sports.
Overuse injuries that involve the growth plate include: