27. February 2017 02:52
The growth plate is a mass of cartilage tissue that is found around the edges of the long bones such as the femur, ulna and the radius. Each of these bones has at least two growth plates at their ends and the bone development occurs around these plates.
The growth plate tends to harden or ossify at the end of the growth cycle of the child once the bones have attained their full length. These are weak soft tissue structures that can break with slight external pressure or overuse.
It is estimated that about 30% of the fractures reported during childhood or in young adults, pertain to growth plates. Being soft, this part of the bone is essentially prone to cracks or damage. It becomes imperative to treat such injuries at the earliest as they are crucial determinants of the child’s growth level.
- A fall on an outstretched hand or knee
- Vehicular accidents may have a high impact and crack the bone shaft along with the growth plate
- Collisions or direct hit to the limb
- Repeated stress to the joints and the growth plate leading to stress fracture
- Recreational activities such as biking, skateboarding, skiing etc. may increase the risk of such fractures
- Growth plate fractures are more common in boys as compared to girls as the latter attain maturity earlier and therefore their growth plates ossify sooner
- Visibly deformed limb
- Pain may set in immediately after the injury and may range from severe, localized to persistent
- A feeling of warmth may spread over the skin around the injured limb
- Swelling and tenderness
- Inability to perform daily tasks
- Limited range of motion
- The patient’s medical history, symptoms as well as mode and time of injury may be noted down
- X-ray imaging may be required to study the damage to the bone structure
- MRI or CT scan may be done to locate the fracture in the growth plate which is a soft tissue structure
The treatment method adopted in each case may differ depending on the child’s age, grade of injury, location of fracture as well as the overall health. These may include the following.
- Immobilization of the limb using a cast or splint to keep the bones in place while they heal
- Restricting the levels of patient’s daily activities
- Some pain killers and anti inflammatory medicines may be prescribed
- Open Reduction- If unstable fractures are accompanied by bone displacements, surgery may be required. During the procedure, an incision is made to reposition the bone pieces. They are then held in place using screws and pins
- The limb is secured in a cast post surgery and physical therapy may be recommended
- Regular follow ups may be required until the child attains maturity to keep a check on the development of the bone
For treatment of Growth Plate Fractures and other orthopedic conditions, visit OrthoTexas. To schedule an appointment, call at (972) 492 – 1334 or visit 4780 North Josey Lane, Carrollton, TX 75010.
22. October 2016 06:22
Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE) is a medical condition that affects the hip joint of people in their teen age. The hip is a ball and socket joint in which the head of the femur (thigh bone) rests in the socket referred to as the acetabulum. The femur has two plates at either end of the bone where the bone growth occurs. In some adolescents, the rounded head of the bone tends to slip out of the socket in the backwards direction causing pain and discomfort. A break or fracture in the growth plate causes instability of the femoral head (also known as capital) and it tends to slip out of its socket. This condition can be classified into two categories:
- Stable SCFE- This is a less severe condition in which the person is able to bear body weight without the use of orthotic devices
- Unstable SCFE- This condition creates a severe instability and the patient is unable to bear body weight
- Genetic traits- People with a family history of SCFE are more likely to be affected
- Metabolic disorders- Hyperthyroidism and Hypopituitarism are major risk factors for this condition
- Obesity- People suffering from SCFE have been found to be overweight in most cases
- Pain in the groin, thigh, hip and knee
- Physical deformity in the legs
- Inability to bear body weight
- Muscle spasms
- Detailed examination of the affected leg and the hip
- Analysis of the patient’s medical, genetic history, past injuries and existing symptoms
- Evaluation of the gait
- Physical tests may be performed to check for loss in range of motion
- X-ray imaging is done to study the position of the bone and it helps confirm the diagnosis
- The aim of the treatment is to realign the bones and enable the patient to move freely. The patient is generally required to undergo surgical treatment within 2-3 days of diagnosis.
- In-situ Fixation- A small incision is made in the hip. Screws and wires are used to fix the growth plates. This prevents the bone from slipping out and eventually the growth plates close once the patient attains maturity. This process is best suited in case of stable SCFE.
- Open Reduction- A large incision is made in the affected joint and the bone is placed back in its original position. It is then fixed using screws
- Post-operative care- The doctor may recommend using crutches to avoid bearing weight for a few weeks. Specific physical therapy sessions may be conducted to restore movement.
We at OrthoTexas, provide effective treatment for Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic doctors in Carrolton, TX, visit (972) 492 – 1334.