Speed Up Fracture Healing

Epiphyseal Fracture Treatment | Epiphyseal Bone Fracture Surgery, Recovery, Healing Time and Symptoms

10 Sep

The epiphyseal plate or growth plate is found on the area where the long bones in growing up kids and adolescents are. This is also called as physis. The epiphyseal plate can be found on both ends of each long bone. The plate would help mold the shape and the length of the mature bone. Upon passing through the stage of adolescence wherein the bones and even the growth plate have already been developed, a solid bone will take the place of the plate.

People Prone to Epiphyseal Fracture

This bone facture only happens to kids and adolescents who still have their growth plate. Among all the bones in the skeleton, the growth plate is the most vulnerable. It would take a stronger force to break ligaments and tendons than the growth plate. Thus, when kids fall or meet an accident, the growth plate is likely the first casualty. This still holds true and is evident when even during a serious injury the ligaments and tendons might be saved without any harm at all while you will suffer from epiphyseal bone fracture. The joint is also prone to fractures. Adults would experience sprain while children and adolescents would have growth plate fracture injury.

According to studies, epiphyseal plate fracture consists 15 percent of the injuries in kids. Epiphyseal fractures in children are twice as more frequent among boys than among girls. The demographics that are usually victimized by this type of fracture would be girls aged 11 to 13 years old while boys who are prone to epiphyseal injury are those aged 14 to 16. The explanation to this result is that those girls, who are already older at more than 14 years old and above, have already more mature bones than boys. Thus, they can easily get rid of their fragile growth plate and instead make way for a much stronger solid bone. On the other hand, boys still need to wait a little longer for them to avoid physeal fracture. At 14 to 16, they are still at risk of experiencing more growth plate fractures.

Among all the cases of fractured epiphyseal plate that are available, it seems like the most vulnerable growth plate in the body is that of the wrist. There are also possibilities of bone breakage on the tibia and fibula, the bones that can be found on the legs. Epiphyseal fractures in some cases can also occur on the foot, ankle, femur or upper leg bone, foot, ankle and hip bone.

Causes of the Fractured Growth Plate

Epiphyseal fractures are usually results of a fall, a strong impact on the limb, or any other accident. Children and adolescents who are frequently practicing baseball pitching, long-distance running, and balancing on uneven bars are likely to get growth plate injuries. Most children have the broken epiphyseal plate bones when they fall while running and hitting something hard. Kids who are athletes in sports like softball, football, basketball, aerobics, and track and field are also prone to fracture of arm, foot, or other parts that still have growth plate. These sports represent one-third of all injuries in the physis of the kids.  One-fifth of the reason of this epiphyseal plate injury is due to recreational activities such as skiing, biking, skateboarding, and skiing. Fractures brought about vehicular accidents only cause a little of all the cases of epiphyseal plate fractures.

Every patient that has growth plate injury, whatever the cause is, should have a medical check up done by a doctor. The fracture would put the child or teen in pain. The parents should not leave their kids bearing the pain brought about by the fracture. The doctor might prescribe some pain medications too.

Growth plate fractures in children who are athletes would make it quite hard for them to continue moving and practicing. When the fracture is ignored, the child might have deformed bones for life. Bone growth might not occur properly too if the fracture is not given enough ephiphyseal plate fracture healing time. Bone infection in kids can also result to growth plate injuries that will interfere in the proper growth of the bones. The infection should be treated immediately to let the bones develop. Thus, there is an urgent need to treat epiphyseal fracture then for the sake of the kids. Epiphyseal fractures in children might just ruin their future when the injuries are not treated immediately.

More Reasons of Growth Plate Injuries

  • Physical abuse in children can cause serious growth plate injuries. According to a certain study, children who are less than a year old and already have symptoms are usually abused by parents. They got their injuries due to lack of care or these kids are being hit by their own parents. This consists of 50 percent of the cases for children at this age. Accidents only account for two percent as a cause for children in this age group.
  • Frostbites and other injuries due to an extremely cold weather can make the children’s bones vulnerable to breaking. Physeal fracture or other injured bones might result to premature occurrence of arthritis or stubby fingers in the child.
  • Children who are sick with cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy would have injured growth plate. The same cancer treatment is also observed to produce stunted bone development in the children. People who use steroids are also prone to having brittle bones that will make them experience rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Genetics also affect the growth plate. When there are some concerns related to the bones based on the genes in the family, the growth plate would be among the common spots where certain disorders would be deposited. This study partly gives hope to children who are already sick with stunted growth plates due to malfunctioning bones.

Fracture Symptoms for Emergency

These are the signs that would show when the patient should already call for the doctor. Parents should contact the doctor if their children have been injured and expressed a lot of pain due to the injury. There is a possibility that something is broken or twisted in some parts of the child’s body. Other symptoms that would call for urgent help would be when there are obviously deformed legs or arms; restricted movement when playing a game due to the painful sensation right after the injury; and severe pain in the area of tibial epiphyseal fracture, or some other types of epiphyseal fracture. Extreme pain felt all over the area could mean serious trouble so epiphyseal fracture treatment should be done in the soonest time possible. Rushing the child to the hospital would be a good idea.

Fracture Diagnosis

This is necessary for the doctor to tell you how to treat epiphyseal fracture quick. X-rays are used in other types of fractures such as in comminuted fracture in order to locate all the fragments of the broken bone. The only difference in this result is that the x-ray has the growth plates seen as gaps in the film. This is because the plates are not yet fully grown as bones in the case of the kids. Only when the growth plates would develop into a solid bone will the x-ray machine be able to detect them as real bones and not as gaps on the film. The doctor would need to compare two films – that of the injured growth plate and the other of the normal growth plate. This would make it easier for the doctor to detect where the fracture lies.

Another device that is necessary to help the doctor know how to heal the fracture would be the MRI. There are different types of epiphyseal fracture based on the location of the breakage. The MRI will give the doctor another image of the fracture that you have. Some diagnostic tests would consist of ultrasound and computed tomography (CT).


Immobilization is always an effective way to hasten fracture healing time because the process is not interrupted. Recovery time can be dragging in some cases if the fractured bone is always disturbed. Fracture surgery would also be necessary in putting the fragments and joints back together. Surgery is also needed for cases such as in fragmented dens fracture. It is usually done for boxer fracture with an open wound and severely broken bones. Dancer fracture resulting from hard twisting of the foot might also need to surgery to fit the bones back together. Comminuted fracture that has more than three fragments from its broken bone is also a complicated case that might call for surgery. After the surgery, fracture cast is necessary to let the injury heal. This needs to be worn for a week or two.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply