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What to Do If Your Child Breaks a Bone

Pediatric fractures are sometimes different than what you’d expect. While children can have complete fractures, their bones are still developing and have a thick coating that makes them slightly more flexible than adult bones. As a result, your child could develop a greenstick fracture in which the bone bends, but only one side is cracked. 

They could also have a torus fracture, which occurs when the bone bends, twists, or buckles but doesn’t break.  

Another type of pediatric bone fracture is a growth plate fracture. Growth plate fractures occur on the growth plates at the ends of bones where most of the growth happens. Without proper treatment, growth plate fractures interfere with the way your child’s bones develop. The bone could grow at an angle or at a slower rate than other bones. 

Here at Performance Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Shrewsbury, Toms River, and Wall Township, New Jersey, Dr. David Dickerson Shawn Denning, NP can diagnose and treat all types of childhood fractures. Whether your child broke a bone during a sports accident or while rough-housing in the yard, we can help. 

In the meantime, let’s review the signs of a fracture and what you can do to help your child stay comfortable while you’re on your way for treatment.

Signs of a fracture

The most common signs of a fracture are swelling, bruising, and your child not wanting to touch or move the injured body part. They might avoid putting weight on the injury, or they might not be able to straighten a limb with a fracture. 

But just because your child can move their arm or foot, doesn’t mean there isn’t a fracture. If you’re concerned about a fracture, get immediate medical attention.

Fracture first aid

If you think your child has a fracture, rapid first aid can reduce their pain and keep them comfortable while you make your way to the office for treatment. First, apply an ice pack right away. Don’t try to move or adjust the injured body part, as this could make the fracture more severe. 

Then give us a call here at Performance Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine. Our friendly and knowledgeable office staff can schedule you and your child for the next available appointment. 

If possible, apply a splint to your child’s injury to keep it stable until you can get to our offices. If you don’t have a splint in your first-aid kit, you can use a small board, cardboard, or even folded up newspapers and an elastic bandage or tape.

Don’t give your child anything to eat or drink before you see us, in case they need surgery to reset the bone. This is rarely necessary for children, but it’s better to be safe than delay treatment.

When you get to the office

While we talk to you and your child about their injury, we prepare your child for an X-ray, which is the best way for us to locate the fracture and assess its severity. Once we understand the extent of the injury, we set the bone and provide an immobilizing cast or inflatable device to keep the bone stationary while it heals. 

Our expert team here at Performance Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine can treat all types of broken bones and help your child recover quickly and safely. Give us a call or make an appointment online if you or any member of your family needs orthopedic care.

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