Bruises, bumps, and breaks can happen anytime, anywhere, from playing on the playground or riding a bike to high impact sports. Here at Central Texas Pediatric Orthopedics, we know that these growing bones need extra special help to keep them growing correctly after trauma.
We are here for you and your child every step of the way-- from the initial injury to follow-up care and all the way through the recovery process. There are many variables that determine how fractures are treated. Treatment varies based on the age of the patient, the bone or bones involved, location of the fracture, etc.
Some fractures can be treated with a cast or splint, while others may require manipulation of the bone with or without placement of pins, screws, rods or plates. Your orthopedic surgeon will help guide you to the best treatment options to provide you and your child with the best possible outcome.
We see a variety of fractures at CTPO from simple ankle fractures to long-bone fractures requiring surgical fixation. Injuries to the growth plate are classified by the Salter-Harris system, with Type I being the least severe and Type V being the most severe.
Growth-plate injuries are exclusive to children and young athletes who are currently growing. Most fractures will require a period of immobilization, usually in a fiberglass cast or a removable orthosis (splint). After the cast is removed, your physician may prescribe physical or occupational therapy to help restore function and to help guide the athlete back to activity.
HOW DO YOU TELL IF A CHILD'S BONE IS BROKEN?
COMMON FRACTURE QUESTIONS
ARE BONE FRACTURES DIFFERENT IN CHILDREN THAN ADULTS?
Fractures, or broken bones, are slightly different in children than in adults. The main difference is that children’s bones are more porous than adult bones, which allows the bone to bend or bow more easily before breaking. This increased bony flexibility is responsible for unique fracture patterns that are only witnessed in children. One example of this is a greenstick fracture, where only one side of the bone breaks.
WHY DO CHILDREN'S BONES BREAK SO EASILY?
Children’s bones break easily because of the increased flexibility of the bone itself. This is due to structural changes in the bone that exist during normal growth. The skeletal system is still maturing and hardening in a child and fractures (including bending or bowing) are commonplace.
HOW ARE BROKEN BONES DIAGNOSED AND TREATED?
Broken bones are generally diagnosed with use of physical examination by your health care provider. To visualize the bony structure, an x-ray or CT scan may be ordered. For most children’s fractures, a moldable cast is applied to the fracture site and joints around the injury. This allows the bone to rest and ultimately heal appropriately.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A FRACTURE?
Symptoms of a fracture include pain that is localized to a specific joint, joint swelling, bruising, or redness of the skin. There may be an obvious deformity to the affected limb. The patient may be unwilling to use the arm or leg where the injury occurred. A younger child who may not yet be verbal may experience sleeping disturbances and may be more grumpy than normal.
WHY CHOOSE CTPO FOR PEDIATRIC ORTHOPEDIC TRAUMA AND FRACTURE CARE?
At Central Texas Pediatric Orthopedics, we have a team of experienced pediatric orthopedic surgeons that specialize in dealing with the growing skeletal system. There is no fracture we haven’t seen or trauma we haven’t dealt with in serving the greater Austin area for more than 20 years. Our team also includes expert nurses, physician assistants, orthopedic technicians, and x-ray technologists. Our office just gets kids! Having a broken bone can be a scary experience but our family will provide the expert care and advice to get your child treated with expertise and compassion.