In addition to sustaining sports-related injuries, such as fractures and muscle strains, pediatric athletes are also at risk of injuries to their growth plates. Growth plates are found at the ends of long bones, and remain open until a child reaches skeletal maturity. Examples of long bones include the femur (thighbone), the radius and ulna in the forearm, as well as the metacarpal bones in the hands.
As parents, it’s often hard to decide when a child should see a doctor. Of course, this is an personal decision, but if a child sustains an injury playing sports or just “rough housing”, and they complain of pain that lingers, it’s a good idea to have them evaluated by an orthopedist. Growth plate fractures require treatment. To learn more about growth plate fractures, check out the following article from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. South Carolina Sports Medicine is here to help!