Adults and children differ in our ability to heal after a bone break or a fracture. Why? Well, it all comes down to how strong our bones are, the structure of our bones, and the type and intensity of the fracture.
Children Heal Faster
While it may seem like it’s common to see kids wearing casts more often than adults, children actually have a unique quality that allows their bones to heal faster than those of an adult.
The time it takes the bones of children to heal is usually measured in weeks – not months, as is usually the case for most adults.
Unlike the bones in the adult body, the bones of children are still growing, so their growth pattern can more easily accommodate broken or fractured bones.
It is important to note, though, that when a child breaks a bone, action must be taken immediately. The sooner the bone can be set back in place, the better – because you’ll want to get it back into place before it starts healing.
Kids’ Bones are Thicker and Stronger
So, what exactly makes our bones different? It’s all about the fact that the bones of a child contain far more periosteum, a dense layer of vascular connective tissue covering their bones. Not only does this make their bones thicker and stronger, but it also means recovery and healing time is much quicker. This is because the bones are far more oxygen-rich, allowing it to more easily heal after trauma.
However, due to the incredible thickness in children’s bones, it makes it significantly more difficult to diagnose small fractures. So, if your child is complaining of pain after an accident or fall, you should be quick to get medical attention.
Fractures by Location
Some of the most common fractures that children experience are forearm fractures (making up about 40 percent of childhood fractures), elbow fractures (10 percent of childhood fractures), and likely the rest are ankle fractures or other. Most often it is due to trauma or sports injuries.
Adults, on the other hand, are much more susceptible to wear-and-tear types of fractures. This is when cartilage and bones break down over time – as can happen with arthritis or osteoporosis – leading to bones breaking more easily with a fall. For these reasons, fractures at the hips or knees are more common in adults than children.
If you or a loved one has experienced a fracture, or you just want to learn more about how your child’s bones are growing or healing after a fall or accident, call the experts at Ouch Pediatric Orthopedics. We’re here to help analyze any orthopedic vulnerabilities and to help you find the latest, greatest, and most effective treatments for you. Call us today at (800) 682-4220 to make your appointment.
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