Natural Family Health Care
What makes your bones grow and how do they contribute to how tall you will be? The fetal skeleton starts to grow shortly after conception and human bone development continues into early adulthood.
Growth plates are the actual parts of the bone that regulate its length and shape. Located near both ends of long bones, they contain cartilage cells that divide and multiply. As the new cartilage cells increase in number, they push older cartilage cells to the middle of the bone, where they eventually die, and the space they occupied becomes bone.
So bones actually grow from both ends and not from the middle! At the end of puberty, when the cartilage stops multiplying and the bone has reached its maximum size, the growth plates are converted into bone.
Because the growth plate is the weakest area of the bone, it is prone to injury, particularly in growing children and adolescents. This often occurs as a result of a fall or a sports accident.
No matter how serious a sports-related injury or a fall may appear on the surface, children should always be checked thoroughly to ensure that a fracture has not resulted.
Most growth plate fractures heal completely with no apparent long-term damage. Sometimes, however, the bone stops growing and a leg fracture, for example, could produce one leg that is shorter than the other. These types of problems are rare and occur most often in knee injuries.
Whenever your child is injured in a fall or sports activity, it is imperative that they be checked to assess whether any damage to a bone has occurred. Give our office a call immediately.