Kids Place Orthopedics

  A pediatric orthopedic office for children ages 0-16

Return to Sports

Dr. Pike does not recommend that your child returns to sports until their bone is healed.

Many kids with broken arms want to return to their sports team after their cast is applied. The cast protects the arm that is broken, but does not keep the other arm from getting injured. A child with a cast on both arms has a very difficult time taking care of themselves with daily activities as basic as wiping themselves on the toilet. Best to protect the good arm while the broken side heals.

For healing broken legs, Dr. Pike allows return to sports when the child is able to walk and run without pain and without a limp.

What is a stable fracture?

A stable fracture (broken bone) should not move out of place when the arm or leg is moved around. Stability is determined by the appearance of the bone on x-ray, how the injury occurred, and on your child's examination. 

A stable fracture can be treated with a brace that can be briefly removed to wash the broken body part. This helps alleviate the problems of itching and skin irritation associated with traditional casts.

Your child is more than just their x-ray. Even if the x-ray shows their fracture can be treated with a removal brace, this is only safe to do if your child will keep the brace on as instructed. Dr. Pike uses a team approach with active involvement of the patient and their parents to decide if a cast or brace will be the best way to protect the injury.

What Is A Broken Growth Plate?

Growth plates are bands of cartilage near the end of children's bones. The cartilage on one side of the growth plate multiplies while the cartilage on the opposite side turns to bone, which makes the bone grow longer.

Cartilage is not visible on an x-Ray. The growth plate on x-Ray appears as a space between two bones. When a growth plate is broken and the bones on either side of it do not move out of place, the bone will not look broken.

 There are several ways to differentiate a broken growth plate from a joint sprain when the x-rays look normal.  A child with a broken growth plate will have pain directly over the bone in the region of the growth plate. There will often be swelling in the region of the growth plate. Where the pain from a sprained joint will begin to decrease within a few days, the pain from a broken growth plate remains relatively unchanged in the first week, especially if the injured area is not immobilized.

 It is important to recognize and treat a broken growth plate as soon as possible. If the broken area is not immobilized and a second injury occurs, the bones can shift out of place. Bones which are displaced have to be pushed back into position and may require surgery to hold the bones in place. Growth plates that are displaced sometimes stop growing, resulting in crooked or short bones. Treatment with prompt evaluation and immobilization is the best way to decrease the risk of these long term complications.  


Fracture brace. Hard as a cast, waterproof and removable!