Paediatric Fractures – How Are They Managed?
A child has a much different bone than that of adults. They are even missing some bones that adults have depending on how old they are. Therefore, we should not be surprised if they also get different types of fractures than adults. These are managed quite carefully as they are still growing and mismanagement can cause problems to a child’s growth.
Types of Paediatric Fracture
A child’s bone is much more likely to bend than break because the bones are softer. As a result, they are more likely to have incomplete fractures. Below are the more common paediatric fractures:
- Greenstick Fracture – is essentially an incomplete fracture where the bone breaks but it leaves the outer protective layer intact. It looks like the bone has bent.
- Torus Fracture – also called buckle fracture, it happens usually as a result of impact. Typically a fall on outstretched arm is the cause of this type of fracture
- Bow Fracture – is when a bone is bent along its longitudinal axis without any disruption to its cortex of its periosteum
- Salter-Harris Fracture – commonly known as growth plate fracture. This is the most serious type of fracture that needs to be managedcorrectly or it will affect the growth of the child.
Treatment in general depends on the type of fracture and the angulation. A greenstick fracture and bow fracture is usually treated with a cast to immobilise the fracture and allow healing. If the angulation is greater than what is acceptable, then a surgical intervention may be needed. For torus fracture, immobilisation with a splint or cast is usually needed. Salter-Harris fracture requires identification of the type and how the fracture has affected the growth plate. Quite often, a surgical intervention is indicated in order to allow for normal growth. In any case, you should get your child seen by a doctor in order to determine the best course of action which doe not affect your child’s growth. After immobilisation and surgery, physiotherapy is often indicated to get the range and strength back.We hope that this article has been helpful to you. Do drop us a line if you have any questions. Follow us on YouTube in order to find out some useful exercises.