Growth Plate Injuries

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What Are Researchers Trying To Learn About Growth Plate Injuries?

Researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health continue to seek better ways to diagnose and treat growth plate injuries and to improve patient outcomes.

Examples of such work include:

  • Use of therapies to enhance the body's production of chondrocytes. These cells are essential to growth at the ends of the bones.
  • Research on drugs that protect the growth plate during radiation treatment.
  • Identifying radiologic predictors for premature closure of the growth plate following fractures. By predicting the injuries most likely to result in arrested growth, doctors could opt to treat them differently and more aggressively.
  • Research on cancer drugs to determine which ones are likely to affect the growth plates.
  • Further investigating the mechanisms responsible for cartilage and growth-plate defects.
  • Development of methods to regenerate musculoskeletal tissue by using principles of tissue engineering.

NIAMS currently funds Core Centers for Musculoskeletal Disorders at major medical centers. These centers provide the resources for established, currently funded investigators who are often from different disciplines, to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to common research problems in musculoskeletal disorders.

Where Can People Find More Information About Growth Plate Injuries?

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
National Institutes of Health
1 AMS Circle
Bethesda, MD 20892-3675
Phone: 301-495-4484 or 877-22-NIAMS (266-4267) (free of charge)
TTY: 301-565-2966
Fax: 301-718-6366

NIAMS provides information on arthritis and rheumatic disease and bone, muscle, joint, and skin diseases. It distributes patient and professional education materials and refers people to other sources of information. Additional information and updates can also be found on the NIAMS Web site.

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
P.O. Box 2058
Des Plaines, IL 60017
Phone: 800-824-BONE (2663) (free of charge)

The academy provides education and practice management services for orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals. It also serves as an advocate for improved patient care and informs the public about the science of orthopaedics. The orthopaedist's scope of practice includes disorders of the body's bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. For a single copy of an AAOS brochure, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the address above or visit the AAOS Web site.

American Academy of Pediatrics
141 Northwest Point Boulevard
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1098
Phone: 847-434-4000
Fax: 847-434-8000

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its member pediatricians dedicate their efforts and resources to the health, safety, and well-being of infants, children, adolescents, and young adults. Activities of the AAP include advocacy for children and youth, public education, research, professional education, and membership service and advocacy for pediatricians.

American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
6300 N. River Road, Suite 500
Rosemont, IL 60018
Phone: 847-292-4900
Fax: 847-292-4905

The society is an organization of orthopaedic surgeons and allied health professionals dedicated to educating health care professionals and the general public about sports medicine. It promotes and supports educational and research programs in sports medicine, including those concerned with fitness, as well as programs designed to advance knowledge of the recognition, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of athletic injuries.


The NIAMS gratefully acknowledges the assistance of R. Tracy Ballock, M.D., of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH; Michael G. Ehrlich, M.D., of Brown University, Providence, RI; James S. Panagis, M.D., M.P.H., of NIAMS, NIH; and Robert B. Salter, M.D., of the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in the preparation and review of this booklet.

The NIAMS also acknowledges the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons for the use of its publication, Skeletal Growth and Development: Clinical Issues and Basic Science Advances.

The mission of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) is to support research into the causes, treatment, and prevention of arthritis and musculoskeletal and skin diseases, the training of basic and clinical scientists to carry out this research, and the dissemination of information on research progress in these diseases. The NIAMS Information Clearinghouse is a public service sponsored by the NIAMS that provides health information and information sources. Additional information and research updates can be found on the NIAMS Web site at

Medically reviewed by Margaret Walsh, MD; American Board of Pediatrics

Last update: 8/7/2007

SOURCE: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskelatal and Skin Disease, NIH Publication No. 02-5028

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