Helping parents spot growth plate fractures in kids

South GA students received physicals from Phoebe Orthopedics (Source: WALB)
South GA students received physicals from Phoebe Orthopedics (Source: WALB)
Published: Feb. 13, 2019 at 7:23 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Most falls your child will take in their young lives will be the kind from which they hop right back up and keep on moving.

Some, however, require a little more attention.

Before they’re fully grown, the long bones in children have growth plates at the end. The plate is an area of growing tissue that determines the future length of a bone, and essentially determine how tall your child will be.

Those growth plates, though, can fracture. Most of those injuries heal on their own but some require a trip to an orthopedic surgeon like Dr. Brian Scannell with OrthoCarolina.

“There are certain fractures in and around the knee as well as the ankle that can be more problematic for kids. It can cause issues, if untreated, where one leg is shorter than the other or the plates grow in such a way that the kid is knock-kneed or bow-legged,” Dr. Scannell said.

In many cases a split or a cast are all that is needed. In other cases surgery to implant screws to even the growth is required. An x-ray at the pediatrician’s office will determine if a trip to a specialist like Dr. Scannell is required.

Kameryn Mcomber had a growth plate issue. Something called Blount Disease that caused her plates to grow unevenly and one of her legs to bow outward.

“There would be a pain in my knee but I didn’t know what it was. It was sore like I twisted it,” she told us.

Her issue required surgery. A small device was implanted that would help the plates grow evenly. Her surgery was a few years ago.

“Her surgery was quick, in and out, she needed a couple of days to heal and some time before she was up and running again,” Kameryn’s mom Keri told us.

“My knee is fine now. No pain or anything,” Kameryn said.

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