Impact of Bone Fractures in Adolescents

Impact of Bone Fractures in Adolescents

Impact of Bone Fractures in Adolescents 

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. The teenage years are some of the most critical years of an individual’s life. During this time, people make important developments socially, emotionally, and physically. During the physical development, the body is vulnerable and can suffer long-lasting damage if serious injuries are sustained.

During childhood, an incredible amount of growth and development occurs that helps the body reach adulthood. The bones play an essential role as the long bones, such as the femur, have to grow a tremendous amount to accommodate the transition into adulthood. To do this, the body uses growth plates that expand to accommodate the growth of these longs bones. If these bones suffer serious injuries, this could lead to significant impacts on the growth and development of a child. Some of these consequences include:

  • Inadequate Limb Lengthening: If a limb suffers a fracture, the fracture needs new calcium to be deposited to try and fix the fracture itself. For adults and most children, this isn’t a problem as long as the diet has enough calcium to support this. If the fracture goes through the growth plate, this could be damaging, leading to inadequate expansion of the growth plate. Without this expansion, the limb may not grow enough, leading to insufficient limb lengthening. This could potentially be a catastrophic personal injury.
  • Uneven Limb Lengths: One of the consequences of this inadequate limb lengthening is that the arms and legs may not be even. This can lead to challenges when it comes to motor skills such as walking, throwing, and writing. If one leg is longer than the other, the person’s gait is going to be uneven. This leads to a difference in the forces being exerted on the legs and can lead to problems with the spinal cord. Therefore, it is crucial to address these growth plate issues as quickly as possible.

Mechanism of Injury to Growth Plates

Teenagers are going through one of the most critical times in their life in more ways than one. It is essential to understand how these growth plate injuries occur so that they can be prevented if possible. Some of the mechanisms include:

  • Car Accident: An auto accident has the potential to lead to fractures of the growth plate. Studies show that teenagers do not make the best drivers due to their risk-taking behavior and their inexperience behind the wheel. If they are involved in a severe crash, they could suffer multiple bone fractures, and some of these could go through the epiphyseal growth plates of their legs and arms.
  • Slip and Fall: A fall on an outstretched hand is one of the most common mechanisms that lead to growth plate injuries in the upper extremities. When people fall, they often extend their hands to protect themselves from more serious injuries. While this does protect the internal organs, it also exposes the upper extremities to suffering fractures. These fractures could go through the growth plate, leading to consequences on the growth of a child.

Prevention of these Injuries

Fractures that go through the growth plate can have significant impacts on the development of a child and, unfortunately, these impacts could last for the rest of that child’s life. Therefore, it is essential to discuss how to prevent growth plate injuries. First, parents need to ensure that their child exercises safety behind the wheel. Make sure that teenagers drive under the speed limit and never get in the car with someone who has been drinking. Importantly, parents need to ensure that children use the proper protective equipment while playing sports. This can cut down on fall injuries. Finally, any concerning symptoms should be evaluated quickly by a medical professional. Early diagnosis can lead to early treatment.

Personal Injury Lawyers in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer. If your child has sustained an injury to his or her growth plate, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

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