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What does closed growth plates mean in a teenager?

Answered by
Dr. Mahaveer Patil

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 1209 Questions

Posted on Wed, 24 Aug 2016 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Question: my son is having ankle surgery on Friday and the doctor mentions his growth plate was closed in that area does that mean he is done growing? He does not have facial hair or anything like that he is 14 yrs and 10 months
Answered by Dr. Mahaveer Patil 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
nothing to worry about

Detailed Answer:
How was your day?

Hope this message finds you in good health.
I have gone through your query in detail and understand your concern.

I generally see many cases like this at my clinic. At the age of around 15 years , the growth plates generally do not get closed.

Actually, for understanding purpose, let me tell you, that each long bone in our body has 2 growth plates..for e.g- if we consider TIBIA- the bone between knee and ankle, this bone has one growth plate at knee end ,and other growth plate at ankle end.

Though the function of both growth plates is to increase the bone's length and eventually,the person's height, the dominant growth plate out of these 2,contributes to 80 % of bone growth.

So out of 2 growth plates each bone has, one is dominant and contributes for majority of increase in bone's height.

In tibia, the dominant growth plate is at the knee end- So even if his ankle end-growth plate is closed, his knee end dominant plate will still remain active and growing in height for another 3-4 years. So there is absolutely nothing to worry...

Just out of curiosity, while he is admitted in hospital for surgery, why dont you get his knee xray done to confirm that his knee- end growth plate is still open..

Nothing to worry about, as long as i am there to help you.     
I hope your question has been answered.
Feel free to consult me anytime for follow-up queries. Take care,God bless.
Wish you a healthy life : )
If you do not have any clarifications,you can close the discussion.

Kind Regards..
Dr Mahaveer Patil,
Consulting Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon

-     If you were satisfied and happy with my answer ,PLEASE RATE THIS ANSWER AND LEAVE YOUR SINCERE FEEDBACK .

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Priyanka G Raj

The User accepted the expert's answer

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