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Forearm Fractures in Children

Forearm Fractures in Children | Spire Orthopaedic
A broken forearm is a fracture of one or both of the bones that connect the elbow and the wrist. There are two bones in the forearm: The radius bone is on the thumb side of the forearm; the ulna bone is on the pinky finger side.

Forearm fractures are among the most common broken bones during childhood. Broken arms often occur while children are playing and fall unexpectedly.

Fractures of the forearm can occur near the joints of the wrist or elbow, or in the middle of the bone. 

The severity of the fracture will determine the recommended treatment, and how long it will take for your child to recover.

Children are prone to falling due to their playful nature. Hence, forearm fractures are the most common fractures in children (up to 50% of all fractures in children) and occur in 1 out of every 100 children. The vast majority of these fractures can be treated with just a cast or splint, although some of them may need to be reset to improve the alignment of the bones.

What are the types of Forearm Fractures

Forearm Fractures are classified as :

  • Physeal Fracture

This occurs when the growth plate or physis through the wrist is involved in the injury. These fractures are especially common near the wrist, especially in younger children

  • Torus fracture

This occurs when only one side of the bone is compressed and buckles but does not break all the way through. 

  • Greenstick fracture

This occurs because children’s bones are still very soft and flexible  compared to adult bones. Like the greenstick of a tree branch, the one end of the bone breaks and the other just bends, Hence the term green stick fracture

  • Plastic Deformation fracture

This occurs when the bones bend but do not break

Symptoms of Forearm Fractures

Patients present with :-

Swelling

Pain

Skin bruising or color change

Extreme pain while putting weight or pressure on the forearm

Crooked appearance 

Popping or snapping heard during the injury

Unable to more the arm normally

Treatments of Forearm Fractures

Conservative Treatment Options :-

Your child’s treatment plan is determined by the type, location, and severity of the fracture.  Most are treated in a cast.

Some fractures may require closed reduction (moving broken pieces of bone back into alignment

Surgery

Open Reduction and Internal Fixation of the Fracture ( with Pins, Plates or Screw) maybe put in place while it heals. Patients may take up to 3 months to recover

Can a Forearm Fracture heal on its own?

In many cases, minimally displaced or undisplaced fractures don’t require surgery because the broken ends usually stay close together. This makes it easier for your forearm  fractures to heal on its own.  Further, bone healing potential is good in children, hence most will heal and remodel nicely. 

Conclusion

If your kid has any upper limb pain or you suspect a fracture issue that you wish to consult, please do not hesitate to contact our team at Spire Orthopaedics. Book a consultation session with us if you have any questions for our Doctor.

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