Care for Pediatric Bone Fractures at Tampa General Hospital

Bone fractures don’t usually occur the same way in children as they do in adults. Whereas fully grown bones typically break cleanly into two separate pieces and can be treated with immobilization, broken bones in children sometimes lead to different complications. This is because bones that haven’t fully developed are more flexible.


The most common type of fracture in children is a greenstick fracture, which occurs when a bone bends and cracks on one side only. Another common type is a torus fracture, which occurs when one side of the bone is compressed, causing the opposite side to bend outward. Typically, greenstick and torus bone fractures can be treated by setting the bone and immobilizing it – similar to how an adult fracture is treated. However, a particularly severe or abnormal break may require another type of intervention, such as surgery.

This is especially true for growth plate bone fractures, which also occur in children. These types of fractures affect the soft, growing layer of tissue at the end of a child’s bones. Injuries to this area require prompt medical attention because a delay in treatment may result in the bone growing crookedly or to a shorter length than the opposite limb. Some common signs that a child has a growth plate fracture include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the area of the growth plate
  • Swelling at the end of a bone, near the joint
  • Inability to put weight on or move the affected limb

Tampa General Hospital’s Children's Medical Center provides outstanding care for pediatric bone fractures. Our team, which includes orthopaedic surgeons and other specialists, provides individualized care and utilizes leading-edge technologies to accurately diagnose broken bones and related injuries in children and provide the best corresponding treatment.

If you suspect your child has a bone fracture, use Tampa General Hospital’s Physician Finder to find a pediatric orthopaedic surgeon.