My Child Has a Broken Arm. Now What?

My Child Has a Broken Arm. Now What?

You know that childhood is full of scrapes and cuts, and sometimes children get an injury a bit more serious than that. 

Now your child has an arm fracture. It’s likely to be a forearm fracture; almost half of broken bones in children are forearm fractures, and most of those are near the wrist. 

Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons at Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine treat many children with arm and other types of fractures. We’re the experts you want to see to ensure your child’s injury heals normally. 

Your child’s physician examines their injury, checking for deformity, tenderness, swelling, and whether your child can turn the arm. 

The doctor performs tests to see if there is nerve damage in your child’s hand or fingers. They assess the type of break and whether the bone is misaligned. Following are the types of treatments your child receives for an arm fracture. 

Simple fracture 

Your child may have a simple break, called a buckle fracture. This is a partial break of the bone near the wrist, and it’s a common type of fracture. 

Your doctor determines whether your child needs a cast or whether a removable splint can be used. He may advise a splint at first until the swelling recedes, and then a cast. Recovery with the cast or splint takes about a month. Your child should not engage in activity for another month that could result in reinjury. 

Displaced fracture 

Sometimes an arm fracture causes bone misalignment. It’s called a displaced fracture. Your child’s Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine orthopedic surgeon performs a procedure called a closed reduction; they physically manipulate the bones back into place. 

Then your child gets an X-ray so the doctor can see that the bone is lined up correctly. The next step is putting a cast on the arm so the bone stays in the correct position as it heals. 

Surgery 

In cases of more complicated fractures where there are bone fragments, surgery is needed. Your child’s surgeon attaches pins or metal plates to the pieces of bone to keep them in the correct position while the arm heals. 

Your child’s arm stays in a cast for anywhere from 3-10 weeks. An X-ray shows the progression of healing, which continues even after the cast comes off. The doctor tells you when your child is ready to engage in active play again.

Because your child’s arm is still growing, your doctor advises follow-up X-rays for the next year, to make sure there are no complications with the growth plates at the ends of your child’s bones.

Call or book an appointment online with Delta Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine today if your child has hurt their arm or has any other musculoskeletal problem. 

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