The harder kids play the harder they can fall.  Broken bones, otherwise known as fractures, are a common injury in children normally caused by sports or a fall.  When these injuries occur, it can be scary for both the child and their parents.  Pain, swelling, bruising or tenderness with movement are symptoms of a broken bone.  Other signs of a broken bone include hearing a snap or grinding noise during the injury, deformity of the injured area or persistent pain.  If your child is complaining of these symptoms, it is a good idea to visit their doctor.

Broken bones in children are much different from adults as their young bones are still growing.  Since they are still changing, children’s bones are more flexible and have a thicker covering allowing for better shock absorption.  Since the bones are softer, they tend to rip or tear.  It is rare for a pediatric bone to completely break or be shattered into pieces, which is common in adult fractures.  Different terms are used to describe the different fracture patterns.  “Greenstick” fractures occur as the bone bends like green wood and breaks only on one side.  “Torus” fractures occur when the bone is buckled, twisted, and weakened but not completely broken.  A “bend” fracture refers to a bone that is bent but nor broken.  

Because children’s bones are still growing, they are also at risk for a different type of fracture that does not occur in adults.  Fractures or injuries to growth plates at the end of bones are a concern.  If this part of the bone does not heal correctly, the bone may grow at an angle, more slowly than others, or stop growing before it should.  This makes it especially important for a child to see a doctor if they are complaining of pain after an injury.  Children’s fractures rarely require surgical repair.  However, proper evaluation and immobilization are needed to allow the bones to heal properly and grow as they should.      

To schedule an appointment, please contact us at 843-449-FOOT (3668).

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