Fractures are quite common in children, especially in their teen ages. A fracture is typically a break, usually in a bone. An open or complicated fracture occurs when the shattered bone pierces the skin. Fractures frequently result from slips, trips, or sports injuries. Speaking of the most common fractures in children, the wrist, forearm, and area above the elbow are most affected. Some of the common childhood fractures are:
- Broken arm
- Broken elbow or Olecranon Fracture
- Broken collarbone or Clavicle Fracture
- Broken wrist or hand
- Broken hip
- Broken ankle or a broken leg
In this article, we will discuss some of the important things that you should know about fractures in children.
Fractures: Types and Symptoms
The bones of a child are more likely to bend or move than break because their bones are softer, and the periosteum is stronger. So, most fractures that occur in adolescents are incomplete fractures. An incomplete fracture is when only one side of a bone is broken, leaving the other intact or only slightly bending but not completely breaking into two pieces. Here are some common types of incomplete fractures.
- Greenstick fracture
- Torus or buckle fracture
- Single fracture
- Segmental fracture
- Bow fracture
- Corner or bucket-handle fracture
- Comminuted fracture
- Intense pain and swelling in the injured limb
- Bruising or bleeding in the injured area
- Swelling, bruising or bleeding
- Out-of-place limb or joint
- Deformity in the fractured area
- Numbness and tingling
- Limited mobility or pain moving the injured limb
Though fractures are accidental conditions that can not really be prevented or controlled, here are certain things that put children more at risk of a fracture.
- Children with low bone mineral content: Children with renal diseases, growth hormone deficiency, cystic fibrosis, diabetes mellitus, and osteogenesis imperfecta disorders are at risk of getting a fracture. Moreover, kids with neuromuscular disorders also have a higher risk of fractures because of symptoms like joint stiffness and low bone mineral content.
- Personality: A child would be known to have a fractured personality if they are engaged in high activity levels, including different kinds of sports.
- Past Experience: More than 2.5 million child abuse cases are reported each year, where physical abuse results in bone fractures in children. Astoundingly, if these types of fractures are not treated properly and timely, they can lead to the child’s death.
When a child goes through a fracture, they will have mild to severe pain and will not be able to move the fractured area easily. The kid should immediately be taken into medical assistance, even if the fracture causes mild pain. To reduce the pain or bleeding, the physician will put a splint on the fractured area. The specific treatment depends on the type of fracture and its severity, which is why it is of utmost importance to see a doctor and know the status of the fracture.
Fractures in children generally heal faster, but in some cases, full recovery can take up to one year. Hence, it is advised to have regular follow-up consultations with your physician for at least a year.