My Child Broke Their Arm. Now What?

My Child Broke Their Arm. Now What?

Dealing with bumps and bruises can be bad enough, but broken bones take more than a bandaid or a kiss to make them better. And, while the initial injury may seem like the biggest issue, it’s only the beginning. Children with broken bones need specialized treatment to avoid future problems. 

Thomas F. Saylor, MD, helps patients of all ages recover from fractures at Orthopaedic Care Specialists in North Palm Beach, Florida. In this blog, Dr. Saylor explains how to recognize the signs of a broken bone in children and why they need expert care.

Spotting fractures in kids

Broken bones are a common problem in kids, especially those involving the arms. These injuries occur for a variety of reasons, from falling onto an outstretched hand to traumatic or sports-related events.

Still, no matter how common they may be, broken arms aren’t always easy to spot. That’s because a child’s bones are still developing, so they’re softer and more flexible than an adult’s. More simply put, an injury that would snap an adult bone into two pieces may cause a child’s bone to bend and crack instead. 

The result? Broken arms in children may not cause much pain or swelling at first, and the child may still be able to use the affected area. This response often makes it seem like they simply sustained a bump or sprain. However, if their pain persists for more than a few hours, it could indicate a broken bone. 

Other signs of a broken arm include:

In more severe fractures, bone can break through a child’s skin. These breaks, known as compound fractures, require emergency attention.

Treating a broken arm

Working with an experienced provider is always important when dealing with broken bones. However, it’s even more essential when it involves a child, because they’re still growing. 

Children are highly vulnerable to a specific type of break known as a growth-plate fracture. These injuries involve the layer of soft growing tissue located near the ends of bones. When damaged, a growth plate can begin growing more slowly or at an abnormal angle. 

Dr. Saylor can confirm the presence, location, and severity of a fracture with X-rays or other imaging tools. Based on his findings, he can outline the most effective treatment strategy to ensure your child’s arm heals properly, such as:

Whenever possible, Dr. Saylor relies on minimally invasive techniques to repair breaks, which comes with faster recovery times and fewer risks and complications.

After treating your child’s broken arm, Dr. Saylor could also recommend follow-up appointments in the years to come to monitor the arm as they continue growing.

Did your child break their arm? Get expert care by calling 561-292-0148 to book an appointment with Orthopaedic Care Specialists today.

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