Broken bones

A child’s bones heal in the same way an adult’s bones do. But since a child’s bones are still growing, there are a few special concerns. 

For example, if a fracture (i.e. broken bone) goes through the growth plate, the bone may not grow correctly.
Growth plates

Growth plates

Growth plates are fragile groups of cells at the ends of a child’s long bones (such as the arms and legs). Growth plates ensure the bones keep growing until they reach full length. If a growth plate is damaged in a fracture, the bone may not grow as it should. 

Fractures involving growth plates may require more follow-up visits to make sure the bones are growing properly.

Remodelling

Remodelling

Remodelling happens more quickly in children than in adults. This means a child’s broken bone may not need to be lined up perfectly. As it heals, the bone straightens through remodelling. The younger a child is, the better the bones will line up.

Guidelines for after cast (bilingual documents):
Cast care instructions (bilingual documents):

Instructions for crutch walking

Instructions for wearing a clavicle strap

Reviewed by Trauma specialists at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Last updated: May 2012, October 2015

Trauma

Phone : 514-412-4400 ext. 23310

Fax : 514-412-4254

514-412-4499, Emergency Department (for patient transfer) / 514-412-4399 (fax)