Growth plates are areas of cartilage located near the ends of bones and help determine the correct growth of the bone. Because they are the last part of the bone to harden, they are particularly vulnerable to injury. As they are critical to the growth of the bone, prompt attention is critical. If not treated properly, the limb may become crooked or unequal in length compared to the opposite. However, with proper treatment, serious problems are rare and usually heal without complication.
As with other fractures, diagnosis is made using x-rays. Depending on where and how the growth plate is fractured, surgery may be required to stabilize the growth plate and prevent future problems.