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Growth Plate Injuries

Los Angeles Pediatric Orthopaedics

Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeons & Sports Medicine Specialists located in Santa Monica, Brentwood, Palisades and Los Angeles, CA

The pediatric orthopaedic surgeons at Los Angeles Pediatric Orthopaedics, Jonathan H. Koenig, MD, and Thomas Grogan, MD, have specialty training in the treatment of growth plate injuries as well as later consequences of growth plate damage. The team at Los Angeles Pediatric Orthopaedics provides cutting-edge treatment for growth plate injuries, including minimally invasive surgery, at his private practice near the Brentwood neighborhood on the Westside of Los Angeles. For expert care of growth plate injuries in a kid-friendly environment, call the office or request an appointment online today.

Growth Plate Injuries Q & A

What is a growth plate injury?

The growth plate is an area of active, growing tissue near the end of long bones in children and teens. Each long bone has a growth plate at each end that helps determine how long the bone will be. Growth plates harden into solid bone when kids finish growing, around age 13-15 for girls and 15-17 for boys. 

Growth plates are the weakest part of your child’s bone, making them particularly vulnerable to injury. A growth plate injury, or fracture, occurs when the growth plate breaks.

An injured growth plate can affect how the bone will grow, so they need immediate treatment and specialized care. Dr. Koenig and his team provide prompt and highly individualized care for growth plate injuries at any time.  

Who gets growth plate injuries?

Growth plate injuries affect children and teens who are still growing. Kids and teens who participate in sports and physical activities, such as basketball, skateboarding, or skiing, may be at higher risk for growth plate injuries. 

How do I know if my kid has a growth plate injury?

Like other types of broken bones, growth plate fractures can occur suddenly, like after falling off a bike, or they can develop gradually. Overuse from repetitive activities like training for gymnastics can lead to a growth plate injury.

Your child may have symptoms of a growth plate injury if they:

  • Complain of persistent pain after a sudden or overuse injury
  • Reduce activity or playtime after an old injury
  • Experience changes in the way their limb bends
  • Cannot move a limb due to pain

The best way to find out if your child has a growth plate injury is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Koenig and his team. 

How are growth plate injuries diagnosed and treated?

Growth plate fractures may not show up on an X-ray because they don’t affect solid bone. Dr. Koenig and his team may recommend a computerized tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to confirm the diagnosis.

Then, they develop an individualized treatment plan for your child’s growth plate injury. Minor fractures may only need a cast or splint. If the injury is more severe, Dr. Koenig may recommend surgery. He uses minimally invasive surgical techniques to realign the bone without damaging the growth plate. 

If you think your child may have a growth plate injury, call the office of Jonathan H. Koenig, MD, or request an appointment online today.