Why is bone healing faster in children?
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.
Bone healing in children
Bone healing in children does not occur immediately, but rather passes through several stages that last up to years. Learn more about the following:
Stages of bone healing in children
Bone healing in children goes through the same stages as adults, but with a faster recovery time, starting with the formation of the callus and followed by successive stages as follows:
1. Inflammatory stage
When the bone is broken, the body sends chemical signals to specific cells to go to the injured place, causing pain, redness and swelling of the area, and these cells contribute to the formation of blood clots.
Bone fractures result from a set of inflammatory reactions, such as: rupture of blood vessels, and formation of hematomas that contribute to the secretion of important chemical compounds in the healing process, such as: cytokines, prostaglandins, and growth factors.
2. Reconstructive stage
The reconstructive stage begins a week after the injury. At the ends of the broken bone, a so-called callus is formed, which is a thick mass. A group of new bone-forming cells gathers from several sources.
The hard callus consists of a thin callus that is re-formed and organized into a hard callus within a few weeks. During this period, the fracture must be firmly fixed and supported so that the soft callus does not break in order to complete the healing process successfully.
3. Remodeling phase
This stage is the longest, starting after 6 weeks and lasting up to years, during which the normal bone replaces the hard callus that formed earlier.
Factors affecting bone healing in children
There are factors that may negatively affect the bone healing process, including the following:
- Suffering a severe fracture.
- Damage that may occur in the area of the fracture to the muscles, skin, or nerves.
- Vitamin deficiency in the blood.
- Child suffering from diseases such as: osteoporosis, anemia, high blood sugar, or osteogenesis imperfecta.
- Taking medications such as corticosteroids.
Treatments that aid bone healing in children
Learn about the available treatments as follows:
Splints help fix the broken bones in place during the treatment stages that we mentioned. Within a month or more, new and strong bones will form, and the cast can then be removed from its place.
But after removing it, the child should not play sports and return to his normal activity as before; Because the muscles are weak or stiff and need more time to become strong.
In addition to splints, the child may need physical therapy under special supervision to help the bones heal, and the child can practice stretching exercises in addition to the regular and permitted physical activity only.
2. Orthopedic fixation
Before splints or braces are placed , the bones are sometimes put back into place through surgery. There are two types of this procedure as follows:
- A Closed Reduction: It is performed in the emergency room or operating room so that the surgeon moves the bones into their correct position without the need for an incision.
- An Open Reduction: This operation is performed for difficult cases that need general anesthesia, and an incision is made to return the bones to their proper place by using surgical plates, screws, or wires.
Factors involved in bone healing in children
In addition to the natural processes that the body performs to restore bones, parents should pay attention to factors that also help the child, including:
- Commit to a healthy diet rich in calcium and vitamin D, which are important for a child’s bone health.
- Pay attention to the splint or props after their installation.
- Adhere to the doctor’s advice in terms of rest and activity of the child.
- Go to scheduled appointments with your doctor.