Fractures in Children

It seems kids are always getting injured, specifically breaking bones. Fractures in children are handled differently than fractures in adults.

First, kids heal so much faster than adults, usually in weeks instead of months. And the younger the child, the faster they will heal. In numerous cases, surgical intervention will be required for the same fracture in adults, while in children a cast is sufficient for proper treatment.

Children are often monitored more closely and frequently than adults because they have growth plates. When new bone cells are dividing, and multiplying, growth plates form on the ends of the long bones, creating a small space visible on x-rays. If a fracture occurs in one of these growth plate areas they can be serious and are monitored even more closely.

Different types of fractures are much more common in the pediatric population. Two fractures are seen almost exclusively in children, greenstick fractures, and buckle fractures. Greenstick fractures, occur when a bone is bent and it only breaks on one side, like breaking a healthy tree branch. Buckle fractures show a bulge from and impaction and the break occurs on the opposite side of a greenstick fracture.

At Direct Orthopedic Care, we see children with a variety of different fractures. The three most common fractures we see occur in the forearm, ankle, and elbow. Forearm fractures involves the radius or ulna. Both bones have growth plates on each end so it is imperative kids are seen immediately to ensure the fracture is reduced properly. Another common fracture seen in our orthopedic clinic involves the ankle, the tibia and fibula. Ankle fractures are common with twisting or pivoting injuries in soccer or basketball. Finally, elbow fractures are the third most common fracture seen in children by Direct Orthopedic Care. The break includes radius or ulna at the proximal end, the forearm nearest to the elbow, or humerus fractures at the distal end.

If you think your child has a fracture, walk-in to one of our four DOC locations in the Treasure Valley.