Children are vulnerable to certain types of injuries in a pedestrian, bicycle or motor vehicle accident in Denver. One type is an injury to the child’s growth plates, which is the area of tissue located near the end of each bone.
Weaker than the rest of the bone, growth plates are especially susceptible to injury. And since they aid in the development of the child’s skeletal structure, it’s critical to receive proper treatment.
Growth plate injuries oftentimes occur in the forearm, lower leg and upper leg. But it’s not just limbs that can be affected, damage can also occur to the hip, ankle or foot, for example.
Common Types of Treatment for a Growth Plate Injury
The nature of the injury will determine the course of treatment, it may include one or more of the following:
- physical therapy; and/or
- long-term follow-up care.
If the arm or leg is injured, a doctor may need to immobilize it by putting it into a splint, brace or cast. The child will likely be given certain restrictions, so as to avoid placing weight on the injured area.
When the bones are displaced, a doctor may use a procedure called manipulation, where the bones are put back into place using his/her hands. To ensure they don’t move back out of place, the child may wear a brace or splint.
Realigning the bones and keeping the growth plate in place might require surgery. This could involve the use of wires, screws, pins and plates. Sometimes a cast will be necessary after the procedure.
After a fracture has healed, special exercises taught in physical therapy could aid in recovery.
Physical therapy goals usually include:
- improving range of motion;
- strengthening muscles; and
- improving/maintaining joint movement.
Growth plate injures often require longer follow-up care. Every few months the doctor will order x-rays to evaluate how well the growth plate is healing. In some cases it may necessitate ongoing evaluations until the child has finished growing.
Impact of a Growth Plate Injury and How It May Affect an Injury Claim
The medical costs for this type of injury can be substantial, especially when there’s severe damage that required surgery and possibly years of follow-up care. These expenses may be recoverable in an injury claim if it was caused by the negligence of someone else.
But there is also the possibility that despite treatment, bone growth is stunted. This could result in crooked bones or unequal length in the long bones. This type of growth deformity could significantly impact a child’s life.
Parents should talk to an attorney about filing a personal injury claim for a minor and the ability to recover economic damages they incur as well as the child’s ability to recover non-economic damages if the accident results in pain and suffering or disability.
Importance of Seeking Legal Counsel
When a child has been seriously injured, it’s important to consider both immediate and future needs. This is why it’s a good idea to seek legal advice. An attorney can evaluate the circumstances surrounding the accident, determine if it was caused by negligence and compute future financial need associated with the injury.
Contact D.J. Banovitz at 303-300-5060 or fill out our contact form to set up a consultation about your case and options for taking legal action.