Growth plate disorders:
The growth plate is the region of bone that allows us to grow through childhood, as we reach maturity this plate closes. Trauma, overtraining such as excessive jumping, running, infection or tumours can affect the growth plate prior to it closing. This may result in pain, swelling and inflammation as well as marked limitation in functional ability.
Common Growth Plate Conditions:
- Osgood Schlatter’s- is defined as swelling and pain in the growth plate at the tibial tuberosity (top of the shin bone). Common in active 9-16 year olds during a growth spurt combined with a high level of sporting activity.
- Osteochondritis dissecans – degeneration and recalcification (of bone & cartilage) that may result in a loose piece of bone or cartilage. Common in the knee joint of active 10-20 year olds. Can also occur in the elbow, hip or ankle.
- Calcaneal apophysitis (Sever’s Disease) – is inflammation of the growth plate of the heel. Common in active 10-14 year olds.
- Biomechanical correction- of muscle balance, leg length discrepancy, weak core, poor spinal alignment, faulty hip/knee/ankle position.
- Correct training errors- to decrease compensatory stresses and forces on the injured area.
- Electrotherapy- pulsed electromagnetic therapy, interferential and laser serve to decrease pain/inflammation and promote healing.
- Customized Foot Orthotics-they serve to keep the foot in the correct position thereby decreasing the stress on the bone and soft tissues.
- Supports- casting, splints, bracing, strapping and taping.
- Education-safe activities, footwear, alternative sports.
- Exercise Rehabilitation-non weight bearing activities such as swimming, with gradual progression to weight bearing activities. Muscle retraining and balancing.
- Core stability exercises and general stretching and strengthening without compromising the injured area.