If you hit your growth plate, it can cause a growth plate injury. This type of injury is caused when the bone is subjected to an excessive amount of force, causing the growth plate to become cracked or fractured.
This type of trauma can cause pain and swelling in the injured area, as well as a decrease in the range of motion. Depending on the severity of the injury, it may require immobilization, surgical repair or bracing.
In most cases, when a person hits their growth plate, it is due to a traumatic event, such as an automobile accident or a sports-related trauma. In order to prevent a growth plate injury, it is important to use protective gear during activities such as sports, and to practice proper safety when driving a vehicle.
How do you know if you hit a growth plate?
One way to tell if you have hit a growth plate is if you have acute pain around your ankle that radiates up your leg. It’s also possible to feel a noticeable bump or dent in the area you believe you have hit it.
Other signs include the inability to put weight on the affected area, swelling, and bruising. Seeing a doctor is the best way to confirm if you have actually hit your growth plate and to receive an accurate diagnosis.
An X-ray or MRI can verify if there is an abnormality in the growth plate and determine if an injury such as a fracture or dislocation has occurred. A physical exam will also be conducted to assess for pain, swelling, and deformity.
Treatment for growth plate injuries can range from rehabilitative exercises and splinting to surgery, depending on the severity of the injury.
How can I check my growth plates?
Unfortunately, checking your growth plates is not something that can be done at home. Growth plates are the areas of active growing tissue at the end of bones in children and adolescents, and they are not visible from the outside.
As such, the only way to check your growth plates is to go to a healthcare provider such as a doctor or nurse practitioner. They may use imaging tests such as an X-ray or medium such as ultrasound to examine your growth plates.
They will be able to measure the level of closure of the plates, which can give your healthcare provider an estimate of how much longer you will grow. It is important to note that growth plates do not always close in a uniform way, and growth will vary from person to person.
At what age do growth plates close?
The age at which growth plates in bones close varies based on gender and the individual. Generally speaking, growth plates start to close in early adulthood, with girls’ growth plates closing anywhere between ages eight to thirteen and boys’ between ages eleven to sixteen.
The exact age at which growth plates close will depend on many factors such as genes and hormones, and the rate of closing may also vary from person to person. Once the growth plates have closed, no further increase in height is usually possible.
It is possible, however, to maintain and even increase muscle mass and improve posture and body shape through regular exercise and good nutrition.
Can a growth plate heal on its own?
Yes, in most cases, a growth plate can heal on its own. The growth plate is located at either end of a long bone and helps control the growth and development of bones in children and adolescents. It is made up of soft cartilage which is vulnerable to injury.
When an injury occurs to a growth plate, it becomes inflamed and fractured, resulting in growth disturbances and deformities. However, in most cases, the growth plate will heal on its own with rest and the appropriate treatment.
Depending on the severity of the injury, this healing process can take months or years. For more serious injuries, it is important to seek medical attention. Typically, splints, casts, or immobilization of the joint is necessary for proper healing.
Physical therapy may be recommended as well to support range of motion and strength during the healing process.
How easy is it to break a growth plate?
Breaking a growth plate can be surprisingly easy, depending on the situation. Usually, a growth plate fracture requires more force than a typical bone fracture. However, a growth plate can still be broken under the right conditions.
Activities that involve impact or sudden, explosive movements can cause the growth plates to break. Sports like football, soccer, basketball, and gymnastics are some of the most common causes of growth plate fractures.
High-impact falls, especially from heights, can also cause the growth plates to break. Individuals with osteoporosis can also be more prone to growth plate fractures due to their weakened bones. Ultimately, the amount of force required to break a growth plate depends on the age of the individual, the overall health of their bones, and the activity or situation in which the fracture occurred.
Can you feel a growth plate injury?
Yes, you can feel a growth plate injury. A growth plate injury can cause pain in the affected area at the time of the injury or afterwards, swelling, tenderness, and loss of motion or function. Additionally, you may experience some physical signs, such as an obviously deformed limb, a lump or bump that can be felt just above or below the joint, and bruise-like discoloration of the skin.
In more extreme cases, you might even hear a popping or cracking sound during the injury. With time, the injured limb may become shorter or have a changed shape. If any of the above symptoms or signs are present, it’s important that the injured person seek medical attention right away to prevent any long-term issues.
What causes growth plates to break?
Growth plates are areas of developing cartilage near the ends of long bones in children and adolescents. When these bones grow, the cartilage later hardens into solid bone. If the growth plates break, the growth of the area of the body influenced by those bones can be affected.
One common cause is a traumatic injury, such as a fall or sports-related collision. Growth plates can also break due to repeated stress on them, as can be caused by over-exertion during sports. In some cases, growth plates can break without an obvious cause.
Additionally, certain medical conditions—such as genetic disorders or hormonal imbalances—can put a child at increased risk of growth plate fractures.
It is important that any signs of a growth plate break are monitored and treated appropriately, as allowing the injury to go untreated can have long-term effects on proper skeletal development. It is recommended that any growth related injuries (especially those involving the legs and arms) should be examined by a doctor.
Are growth plate fractures common?
Growth plate fractures are not particularly common, but they do occur from time to time. They are most common in growing children and teenagers, and can occur when there is a forceful blow to the arm or leg.
Additionally, if there is too much pressure put on the joint for an extended period of time, it can cause a growth plate fracture. While these fractures are not common, it is important to get them treated promptly and correctly, as growth plate fractures have the potential to cause issues with the shape of the bone and growth, as well as the way that the child walks or the way their joints move.
Can growth plates stay open after 18?
No, typically the growth plates close around age 18. The growth plates, or epiphyseal plates, are areas of tissue at the end of long bones in children and adolescents. They are the source of much of the growth that happens during normal skeletal development.
As children and adolescents continue to grow, the growth plates gradually fuse together and get replaced by solid bone tissue. This process usually happens around the late teens or early twenties. In some cases, however, the growth plates can close at the age of 18 or even sooner, due to a variety of conditions.
In rare cases, growth plates can remain open well into adulthood, leading to disproportionate long bone growth and a potentially abnormal appearance.
What does it feel like to damage a growth plate?
Damaging a growth plate can be incredibly painful, as well as have long-term implications on the future growth of the affected bone. In the short-term, the pain can be described as a sharp, intense throbbing sensation, which can be localized to the specific area where the growth plate was damaged or alternatively, radiates outward.
Swelling and redness of the skin can also occur.
In the long-term, if the growth plate is not treated properly and the damage is not resolved, it can cause the bones to remodel unevenly, which can result in a deformity or, in extreme cases, limb-length discrepancies.
Even if the original injury healed properly, lifelong difficulties with range of motion and mobility can exist, making daily activities much more difficult.
In addition to the physical effects, damaging a growth plate can also have a significant emotional and psychological toll, as the person may be fearful of further injury and may feel anxiety about their future growth and ability to participate in physical activities.
It is important to seek medical attention if one suspects a growth plate has been injured, as early diagnosis and treatment is key to minimizing long-term complications.