Bone healing in children

Clin Podiatr Med Surg. 2001 Jan;18(1):97-108.


Just as pediatric fractures and bones are basically similar to adult fractures and bones, pediatric bone healing is basically similar to adult bone healing. They both go through the three same phases of inflammation, reparation, and remodeling. It is those differences between pediatric and adult bone, however, that affect the differences in the healing of pediatric bone. Because pediatric bone can fail in compression, less initial stability and less callus formation is required to achieve a clinically stable or healed fracture. The greater subperiosteal hematoma and the stronger periosteum all contribute to a more rapid formation of callous strong enough to render the fracture healed more rapidly than the adult. Genes and hormones that are necessary for the initial formation of the skeleton are the same as, or at least similar in most instances, to those necessary for the healing of fractures. This osteogenic environment of the pediatric bone means that these fracture healing processes are already ongoing in the child at the time of the fracture. In the adult, these factors must be reawakened, leading to the slower healing time in the adult. Once the fracture is healed, the still-growing pediatric bone can correct any "sins" of fracture alignment or angulation leaving the bone with no signs of having ever been broken. The final result is bone that is, in the child's words, "as good as new."

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Development / physiology
  • Bone and Bones / diagnostic imaging
  • Bone and Bones / injuries
  • Bone and Bones / physiology*
  • Child
  • Fracture Healing / physiology*
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone / physiopathology
  • Fractures, Bone / therapy
  • Humans
  • Radiography