Cleveland Clinic's Department of Orthopaedic Surgery has been a leader in the treatment of fracture nonunion and in the development of methods to improve outcomes though improved bone-grafting techniques. The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery also treats fractures and fracture mal-unions.

Fortunately, over 90% of all fractures will go on to heal, given the current established methods of care. However, in every fracture there is the risk that the fracture may fail to heal, or be so delayed in healing that additional treatment is needed.

The primary difference between adult and children’s fractures is those children’s bones are still growing – which often makes them heal faster than adult bones. While most children’s fractures can be managed without surgery, operative treatment provides superior outcomes for select injuries. Fractures that typically do better with operative treatment include open or compound fractures, displaced growth plate fractures, and fractures that involve the surface of a joint.

Growth plate fractures can be challenging cases and are best managed by a pediatric orthopaedic specialist. Treatment can include casting, gentle closed manipulation (also referred to “setting” the fracture), and sometimes surgery to optimize the position and function of the growth plate.


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