Growth Arrest and Deformity


The growth arrest is related to growth plate injury in children. Growth plate is an area which consists of growing tissues. It is located near the end portion of the long bones. This injury is more common in early childhood or adolescent age. It mainly affects long bones of legs, fingers, and wrist.

The growth arrest blocks or hinders the normal growth of body. The injury often causes other deformities such as sprains and fractures. The fractures can be simple which do not break through the skin. In severe cases, the bones completely break up and intense pain is felt. An early treatment is essential to reduce complications.


Boys are more commonly affected than girls. A direct blow or fall from a height are mainly responsible for growth plate injury. Sports and athletic persons are usually in danger. It is because new movements and aggressive activities affect the muscles and bone. This may cause damage to the growth plate as well. Diseases or infections can also alter the normal growth development.


The signs and symptoms of growth arrest include:

  • Numbness
  • Deformed growth
  • Acute pain and swelling
  • Abnormal shape of joint
  • Bleeding and bruising


Growth arrest is a serious problem in children, It should be dealt with great concern. For diagnosis, x-rays are mainly used. The x-rays provide a clear vie of the severity of damage. This helps the doctor to decide proper treatment for the child. Mild growth arrest are treated by non-surgical procedures. In severe cases, surgery is used.

  • Non-surgical Treatment:

Non-surgical treatment consists of a mixture of procedures:

  • Rest

A proper rest helps to relief the pain and swelling in the affected part. In addition to rest, use of hot or cold therapy is also good.

  • Immobilization

Splints or slings are used to immobilize the injured part. They are helpful to enhance the healing process.

  • Physical therapy

The physical therapy consists of a set of exercises which provides a healthy body. They include muscle strengthening exercises along with stretching exercises.

  • Surgical Treatment:

The surgery mainly involves repositioning the joints or bones in their correct position. Before surgery, the child is kept under the effect of anesthesia. During the surgery, a small cut is made at the affected site. This is done to view the fracture and move the bones or joints to a safer position. Some surgical instruments may be used in this procedure.


After-surgery, periodic evaluation of the site is required for few months. It helps in monitoring the growth of the child. The surgery enables continued growth development. A cast is placed in the operated site to hold the joints or bones in proper position. Rest and physical therapy should be employed side-by-side. Several weeks to months are required for complete recovery.


The risks in growth arrest treatment involves:

  • Irregular growth
  • Bleeding
  • Damage to nearby nerves or blood vessels
  • Reaction to anesthesia


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