- How are children's bones different from adult's bones?
- Are broken bones different in children?
- What treatment might I expect if my child breaks a bone?
True or False: Children have unique bones.TRUE! Pediatric orthopedics is its own specialty because children have bones that are different from adult bones. As you might expect, treatment of broken bones in children is also different from the way we treat broken bones in adults. The reason for the difference in treatment is due to several factors described below.
True or False: Children don't heal as quickly as adults.FALSE! Children's bones have an amazing capacity for healing. The younger the child the more true this fact becomes. In infants, a fracture of the mid shaft of the femur (thigh bone) will heal easily in a large cast called a hip spica. In adults, the rate of non-union (failure to heal) of femur fractures is quite high even after surgery such as placing a rod inside the femur. This ability to heal allows surgeons to treat children differently, and more often non-operatively.
True or False: Broken bones can cause permanent growth problems.TRUE! Children's bones contain growth plates where new bones cells are quickly dividing. The presence of growth plates is an important consideration as a fracture in or around the growth plate can have significant long-term effects. Because of this, children are watched closely by their doctor as they heal.
For more information: Growth Plate Fractures
True or False: Children often bend their bones rather than break them.TRUE! Their bones are more pliable, and tend to bend more without breaking. This attribute explains the reason for finding both greenstick and torus fractures almost exclusively in the pediatric population. Greenstick fractures occur when the bone breaks on one side, like bending a fresh tree branch, but it stays in continuity on the bent side. A torus fracture occurs when the bone buckles on one side, but it is not separated.
For more information: Greenstick Fractures
For more information: Torus (Buckle) Fractures
Do your kids want information about broken bones?
Here you will find information just for kids!