Orthopedic Surgeons

BROKEN BONES AND FRACTURES

At Medical City Children’s Orthopedic and Spine Specialists, it’s important that your child sees a pediatric orthopedic physician who specializes in children and understands a child’s growth plates when casting or performing surgery on growing bones.

If you suspect your child has a broken bone, it’s important to see a pediatric orthopedic physician
right away to assess the timing of the diagnosis and treatment.

Broken Bones and Fractures

A child in a wheelchair with broken legDid you know the terms “fracture” and “break” mean the same thing? A fracture means a break in any bone in the body, and there are many different types of fractures. If you suspect your child has a fractured or broken bone, it is important to see a pediatric orthopedic physician as soon as possible after the injury. It’s not a good idea to wait until the child grows to correct the fracture as a small surgery might turn into a big one.

We often see patients who have broken bones participating in the following activities, so exercise additional caution when letting kids participate in these activities:

  • Playing on monkey bars is the number one way kids break bones
  • Jumping on trampolines is number two!
  • Contact sports like football and gymnastics/competitive cheer
  • Riding ATVs/dirt bikes
  • Jumping in bounce houses
  • Riding down slides in a parent’s lap

Common Ways Children Fracture Bones Playing Sports

It’s no surprise that sports injuries are among the most common pediatric orthopedic injuries. But how do those accidents most often happen?
  • Collisions
  • Pileups
  • Twisting
  • Falling

How do I know if my child has a broken bone

“If you feel your child may have a broken bone, be sure to bring him or her to Medical City Children’s Orthopedic and Spine Specialists so one of our pediatric orthopedic specialists can provide a comprehensive diagnosis. It’s often hard to diagnose a broken bone without an X-ray exam and a medical exam.” Shyam Kishan, MD. “That’s why we have an X-ray located in our office. When you arrive at our office, we will X-ray your child’s possible fracture before you see that physician. That way, you will know if your child has a broken bone and what the plan of treatment is before you leave the office.”

Symptoms of a Broken Bone

Children who exhibit any of the following symptoms may indicate a broken bone or fracture and should be seen right away:
  • Intense pain or pain that lasts longer than a few days after a fall or injury
  • Swelling, bruising, or bleeding
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Not using or favoring an arm or leg
  • Unable to walk or walking is crooked
  • A child who can’t talk keeps pointing to a body part or cries when it is moved or touched
Here are some ways to lower a child’s risk for broken bones and other injuries. Make sure your child:
  • Gets plenty of sleep, eats a balanced diet and stays hydrated
  • Wears protective gear appropriate for their sport or activity
  • Warms up and stretches muscles and joints before activities
  • Plays in areas that are safe and free of holes, ruts and debris
Protect your little athlete by making sure he or she knows how to play the game, is properly supervised by qualified adults who know CPR, and is outfitted with the proper equipment and safety gear.

Types of Broken Bones or Fractures

Treating children’s broken bones is our specialty and expert patient care is our focus. A bone can fracture in several different ways. For example, a break to the bone that does not damage surrounding tissue or tear through the skin is known as a closed (or simple) fracture. One that damages surrounding skin and penetrates the skin is known as a compound fracture or an open fracture. Compound fractures are generally more serious than closed fractures because they can get infected.

Most human bones are surprisingly strong and can generally stand up to strong impacts or forces. However, if that force is too powerful, or there is something wrong with the bone, it can fracture. Because children’s bones are more elastic, when they do have fractures, they tend to be different. Children also have growth plates – areas of growing bone – at the end of their bones which may sometimes be damaged. Therefore, it is important for children to see an orthopedic surgeon who is also a pediatric physician when they experience a fractured bone.

Ankle Injuries

Ankle injuries are common complaints in both emergency rooms and family physicians’ offices. They are serious and require immediate attention by a qualified and highly skilled pediatric orthopedic doctor.   Approximately 1 million ankle injuries occur annually in the United States. Treatment options differ according to the grade of injury.  Grade I and grade II sprains usually respond to rest and immobilization, while grade III sprains require casting or, possibly, surgery.

Ankle fractures are more severe than ankle sprains and require immediate treatment. When there’s a complete or partial break due to trauma, the child will not be able to put any weight on the ankle. Parents will see swelling, bruising and severe pain.  An ankle fracture can be caused by harsh accidental movements, such as twisting of the ankle in everyday sport or activity. Car accidents can also cause ankle fractures, especially high-impact ones. Tripping, falling, rolling your ankle, or rotating it the wrong way can create an ankle fracture.

Arm Injuries

When a child breaks an arm, the doctor will first carefully examine the injured area for tenderness, redness, and swelling. Then the doctor will have an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan taken so that the arm can be observed and checked for damage to the bone, muscles, or blood vessels:

Our expert pediatric orthopedists treat broken arms depending on the specific location and degree (severity) of the break and your child’s age, overall health, and medical history. Our physicians will determine your child’s treatment plan and follow-up based on their physical examination and other tests.

Broken Collarbone

Upon examination, our doctors will ask about your child’s injury and symptoms. The doctor will also examine your child’s shoulder and may press gently on the collarbone. Our Specialist may also check the feeling and strength in your child’s arm, hand, and fingers. An x-ray or CT scan will clearly identify the fracture. Your child may be given a contrast liquid to help the fracture show up better in the pictures. Tell the healthcare provider if your child has ever had an allergic reaction to contrast liquid.  Upon an official diagnosis, the doctor will discuss an individualized treatment plan with the parents.

Elbow Injuries

The elbow is a joint that connects the humerus bone of the upper arm with the radius and ulna bones of the lower arm through a complex network of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The elbow is much more than a simple hinge, the unique arrangement of the elbow allows for rotation.

Treatment of injuries and diseases requires specialized knowledge. Our physicians are recognized as leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of elbow problems. They provide an extraordinary base of shared knowledge with leading-edge surgery and treatment.

Hand Injuries

The hand consists of dozens of bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles that need to work together seamlessly in a variety of positions hundreds of times a day. As such, hands often require highly specialized medical care when they become injured.

Hip Injuries

The following are just a few of the problems that we treat relating to the hips.

  • Hip Bursitis
  • Contusions (Hip Pointer)
  • Stress Fractures
  • Hip Labral Tear
  • Femoroacetabular Impingement
  • Osteitis Pubis
  • Snapping Hip Syndrome
  • Traumatic Hip Subluxation & Dislocation

As with all Hip Injuries, the treatment and care of children must be provided by the most highly skilled doctor who knows about growth plates and specializes in Children.

Knee Injuries

Our compassionate team of medical professionals will sit down with you and your child to perform a detailed physical examination to determine your child’s diagnosis. Your physician will often order an x-ray exam. After careful interpretation of your X-ray and your physical exam, your physician will discuss a treatment plan with you and your child. If your child needs surgery or casting, we can schedule you for that day or the very next morning. There’s no sitting in waiting rooms. We make sure you are seen right away.

“If your child suffers from a broken or fractured bone, rest assured that the pediatric orthopedic specialists at Medical City Children’s Orthopedic and Spine Specialists specialize in the treatment of children. For minimally invasive surgeries, we have in-house recovery after surgery (IRAS) so during the recovery period, your child stays in the comfort of our offices.” Kathryn Wiesman, M.D.

Call 214-556-0590 to make an appointment.

Comprehensive services for children from birth through adolescence at four convenient locations:
Arlington, Dallas, Frisco and McKinney.