Growth Plate Fractures

Growth plate fractures are specific injuries that occur through or near a child’s growth plate (physis):

  • Injuries are usually caused by torsion at the physeal region
  • The physis is a cartilaginous disc between the epiphysis and metaphysis and is a weak spot
  • Complications of physeal injuries include physeal arrest and limb length discrepancies
  • Trauma is the most common cause of physeal arrest and the reason for it is that a bridge of bone (physeal bar) forms between the metaphysis and epiphysis
  • Peripheral bars (most common pattern) lead to angular deformities

For these reasons physeal fractures are closely managed to ensure the child has adequate bone growth during and after the healing of the injury.