Sports can be a great outlet for young children to expend some energy, to learn about teamwork, and stay fit all at the same time. But with playing sports comes the possibility of injuries. And when kids are still growing, some injuries you have to watch out for are fractures involving growing bones. These are known as Salter Harris fractures.
According to Dr. Michael Sheen of United Regional, "Salter Harris fractures occur only in children. Salter and Harris were physicians in Toronto Canada. They recognized that fractures that occur where the bones grow from, had a little different behavior than fractures that occur in just the regular part of the bone."
According to doctors their are five types of Halter Harris fractures, ranging from 1 begin the least severe, to 5, the most severe. The good news is the vast majority of Salter Harris fractures are type 2. With an average recovery time of 2-to-3 weeks, and no lasting damage to growth if properly treated. "At about this age 8 to 10 you usually break the elbow. As you get a little bit older you tend to break the wrist more often..."
Salter Harris fractures are mostly caused by a simple fall, usually on an outstretched arm. Something commonly happening in most sports. The symptoms mirror that of any other fracture.
"That is swelling and pain. Sometimes there will be a lot of swelling and deformity which makes it really obvious. Sometimes not."
Regardless of the type of fracture. The most important step you can take is getting the right diagnosis. "You need to figure out what kind of fracture it is, and the prognosis. What's gonna happen with this, is it going to heal normally. If so you can reassure the parents. Does it need to be pushed back in place so that it will heal properly, or is it going to end up badly so that you might have to follow up and make sure that their growth continues normally..."
Like with any other fracture. The odds of a full recovery greatly increase the sooner the bones are set, and once kids finish growing, usually around 15 or 16 years, Salter Harris fractures give way to adult fractures But with any type of fracture, if you see the signs, be sure to see a trainer or a doctor right away.
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