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Growth Plate Injuries Specialist

Maguire & Early Orthopedics

Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeons located in Santa Barbara, CA & Pismo Beach, CA

A growing child is at increased risk for growth plate injuries, especially if they stay active in sports. At Maguire & Early Orthopedics, with offices in Santa Barbara and Pismo Beach, California, orthopedic specialists Sean Early, MD, and Michael Maguire, MD, specialize in pediatric surgery to repair growth plate injuries. The fellowship-trained surgeons focus on helping your child develop properly and grow to their full height. Learn more about the available treatment options for growth plate injuries by calling the Maguire & Early Orthopedics office nearest you or by booking an appointment online today.

Growth Plate Injuries Q & A

What are growth plate injuries?

Growth plate injuries affect a child’s growth plate, the area where tissue develops near the long bones. Before a child reaches full maturity, the long bones in their body have two growth places that support healthy growth. At maturity, a solid bone replaces the growth plate. 

Because the growth plate is the weakest part of the musculoskeletal system in children, it’s susceptible to fractures. The most common areas where growth plate injuries occur include the:

  • Hip
  • Foot
  • Ankle
  • Femur (thigh bone)
  • Tibia and fibula (lower leg bones)
  • Radius (outer bone of the wrist)
  • Phalanges (bones of the fingers)

Your child might be at increased risk for growth plate injuries if they lead a physically active lifestyle and participate in sports. 

Boys are also more likely than girls to experience a growth plate injury. This is because girls physically mature faster than boys, so their bones become solid at an earlier age. 

What are the symptoms of growth plate injuries?

The symptoms of growth plate injuries depend on the location of the fracture. Typically, the warning signs of a growth plate fracture include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Warmth
  • Tenderness
  • Loss of mobility in the affected bone

While some growth plate injuries can heal on their own, leaving a growth plate fracture untreated can lead to stunted bone growth and deformities. The team at Maguire & Early Orthopedics recommends scheduling a diagnostic evaluation as soon as possible so your child can continue to grow and develop in a healthy way. 

How are growth plate injuries treated?

Maguire & Early Orthopedics offers on-site diagnostic testing to identify fractures and other damage in a growth plate. 

Dr. Maguire and Dr. Early are the only pediatric fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons in the area and offer comprehensive surgical services to repair the growth plate damage. If your child needs growth plate surgery, the team can ensure the growth plates are properly aligned so the bone can grow as it should.

Some growth plate injuries don’t require surgery. If the fracture isn’t severe, your child might need a cast or a splint to ensure the bone can heal on its own. 

Following your child’s treatment, the Maguire & Early Orthopedics team continues to monitor the healing of the growth plate with follow-up X-rays for several years after the fracture. 

To schedule a diagnostic evaluation for growth plate injuries, call the Maguire & Early Orthopedics office nearest you today or book a consultation online.