Tests and diagnosisBy Mayo Clinic staff
Because growth plates haven't hardened into solid bone, they are difficult to interpret on X-rays. Doctors may ask for X-rays of both the injured limb and the opposite limb so that they can be compared. Sometimes a growth plate fracture cannot be seen on X-ray. If the child is tender over the area of the growth plate, your doctor may recommend a cast or a splint to protect the limb. X-rays are taken again in three to four weeks and, if there was a fracture, new bone healing will typically be seen at that time.
For more-serious injuries, scans that can visualize soft tissue — such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) or ultrasound — may be ordered.
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