The pediatric bone differs very much in structural, biochemical, and functional aspects from the adult bone.
These differences between adult and pediatric bone can be enlisted as
1. Physis: The pediatric bone consists of physis or the growth plate. The growth plate lies between the epiphysis and metaphysis in long bones. By virtue of this structure, the bone can elongate.
2. Metaphysis: This structure is extremely vascular in pediatric bone. By this difference, there is more chance of osteomyelitis in children.
3. Blood supply: The blood supply of a typical adult bone is centrifugal while that of pediatric bone is centripetal.
4. Periosteum: The connective tissue that surrounds the bone is thicker in children. It is due to this property, fracture reduction in child is easy than adults. In children, periosteum usually adheres to one side of fracture.
5. Water content is higher in bones of children than in adults
6. However, mineral content per unit volume is smaller in bones of children than in adult ones.
7. By all these properties, the pediatric bone is more malleable and less brittle as compared to adults.
8. On the other hand, modulus of elasticity is higher in adult bone.
9. Ligaments are stronger than bone in children leading to more force required for fracture. However, they are weaker than bone in adults
10. The pediatric bone is stronger in tension than compression. However, the adult bone is stronger in compression.
11. Fracture reduction in easier in children than adults.
12. Remodeling is great in pediatric bone while it is lesser in adult bones. This process follow’s Blount principles in children.
Table: Differences between adult and pediatric bone