Buckle Fractures

A buckle fracture (also referred to as torus fracture) is the most common fracture in the arms and feet of young children. This form of fracture is ‘incomplete’, which means that the bone does not break completely; instead, the bone bends and has a small crack in it. This is usually found in children since their bones are still soft and very flexible.Buckle Fractures - Child in Sling

Buckle fractures heal well in a splint (which can be easily applied) instead of using a heavy plaster cast. This form of injury heals very well if the child wears the splint for approximately three weeks.

Symptoms of Buckle Fractures

A buckle fracture is associated with a lot of acute pain. Protecting the injured limb can make the pain subside. If it’s a serious fracture, the arm or the leg will bend abnormally. Any form of sudden deformity in the arm or leg is most likely a sign of a buckle fracture. However, the fact that there is no deformity does not mean that there is no fracture. A fracture can still be present.

If your child has sustained an injury and the injured site is tender to touch, he or she may have a fracture.

When the buckle fracture occurs in the forearm, it will be difficult for the child to turn his or her elbow or wrist. If it occurs in the leg, it will be impossible and very painful to put weight on it. Putting pressure on the broken bone can make the injured site and the symptoms worse.

Causes of A Buckle Fracture

Buckle fractures can happen from a fall, an impact, or collision. They also can occur when the injury is so serious that it cracks the bone. Since kids’ bones are very soft and pliable, the fall, impact, or collision can make the bone buckle without completely breaking it.

Children can sustain buckle injuries while playing sports, riding a bicycle, and climbing trees. They are also at risk of sustaining fractures from child abuse.

How To Diagnose A Buckle Fracture

There are different forms of fractures and some have signs that are more obvious than others. For instance, an open fracture has a broken bone that projects out from the skin.

A buckle fracture, on the other hand, does not have a broken bone. However, you may discover that the limb bends abnormally. The bone will bend on the opposite side from the break. Another type of fracture is a greenstick fracture. When a greenstick fracture occurs, the bone bends outward beside the break.

Doctors usually diagnose a buckle fracture with X-ray imaging. The doctor may need to take several X-rays to see the affected bone from different angles. This also helps your doctor see if nearby joints are affected.

The X-ray will also show the exact location of the break, the fracture’s size, and if any of the growth plates at the ends of the bones were affected. Your doctor will also inspect the feeling in the limbs to make sure there is no nerve damage from the injury.

How To Treat A Buckle Fracture

As stated earlier, buckle fractures are usually diagnosed through an X-ray. Generally, these forms of injuries are stable fractures that can be treated with either a cast or a removable splint for 3 to 4 weeks. The cast or sling is utilized to protect and support the affected area while healing. The doctor may place your child in a splint for 3 to 4 more weeks to wear while participating in sports or other physical activities.

Since the bone is not out of position or completely broken in a buckle fracture, surgery may not be needed.

Recovery and Long-Term Effects of A Buckle Fracture

Normally, the fracture will heal completely, and the child will not experience any long-term issues. Since buckle fractures are not complete bone breaks and are usually not growth plate fractures, they do not have any long-term effects on the health of the child’s bone.

To make sure the treatment is successful, patients should follow the doctor’s Buckle Fracture Treatment Plan. Many parents are usually scared that their kids’ bones could get worse when they sustain this type of fracture. Almost all buckle fractures are normal injuries that children have. They usually heal uneventfully and do not cause a child additional problems.

To be sure what type of fracture your child has sustained, you need to consult with your pediatric orthopedic doctor. Here at the Medical City Children’s Orthopedics and Spine Specialists, we have the knowledge, skills, and abilities with decades of expertise lots of experience to successfully treat children’s skeletal systems. We are here to help get your child’s bones on the right path to heal correctly.

Complications

While your child recovers from the fracture, a follow-up appointment will be scheduled with your doctor. At the follow-up appointment, your doctor may need to take additional X-rays. These X-rays will help your doctor visualize how the bone is healing. If the doctor sees that the bone is not healing properly, surgery will be performed to set the bone and put it back into alignment.

If the pain gets worse, the child should also see the doctor immediately. The parent should also consult with the doctor if the cast cracks or gets wet or damaged.

Medical City Children’s Orthopedics and Spine Specialists Offers World Class Expertise

Our experienced and well-trained doctors specializing in children understand that your child’s mobility depends on how healthy the child’s body is. If your child has suffered an injury or is experiencing pain, making it difficult or painful to walk, our team of licensed and qualified orthopedic specialists will help. With the appropriate evidence-based treatment options and professional rehabilitation support, your child will be on the mend quickly.

Our highly experienced doctors will determine the source of your child’s injury and develop a treatment plan. Your family-centered treatment plan also ensures that your child gets the attention he or she needs during the healing process. Our certified experts (comprising doctors, surgery staff, casting specialists, and doctor’s assistants) will provide the very best treatment your child needs.

Common Questions Our Specialists Are Asked About Buckle Fractures

Does my child need a follow-up appointment after a buckle fracture treatment?

In most cases, one follow-up appointment is needed to verify that the fracture is healing quickly without any complications.

Will the fracture area remain weak forever?

No ongoing weakness is associated with the affected bone after a buckle fracture. Although the muscles may take time to heal and become strong if the limb is still in a splint. After your child stops needing the splint, he or she will return to their normal ability and will regain back their normal strength.

Who sustains buckle fractures?

Buckle fractures are usually found in children below 10 years of age. This is because kids’ bones are more flexible and softer than adult bones. So instead of breaking, the injury makes the bones bend and buckle.

How do kids sustain buckle fractures?

Buckle fractures usually occur when hard pressure is exerted on the bone. This can occur when a kid falls and injures his or her arm in the process while trying to break the fall.

How can buckle fractures be treated?

Doctors usually use a splint to treat a buckle fracture.

What should be expected after treating a buckle fracture?

  • Buckle fractures take three to four weeks to heal from the injury.
  • In most cases, one follow-up appointment is required.
  • Weakness, tenderness, and stiffness may be experienced for about one or two weeks after removing the splint.
  • Ensure that your child has full strength and a full range of motion without experiencing any pain before he or she returns to activities.
  • There is no evidence that this form of fracture affects growth, stability, ability, or bodily functions.

Advice To Parents

Although the splint needs to be worn for approximately 3 weeks, you can remove it when your child needs to bathe, shower, or sleep. They will usually feel good enough to go to school after the first day.

If you notice that your child remains in distress after the splint and over-the-counter medicine, consult your doctor as soon as possible. If the wrist remains very sore, swollen or your child is not able to use it after 3 weeks, do not hesitate to contact one of our specialists at 214-556-0590. We can quickly get you and your child in for a follow-up appointment.

Once we remove the splint, ensure that your child avoids sports and other physical activities that require high energy for another 3 weeks to avoid injuring the injured spot.

Let your team of experts at the Medical City Children’s Orthopedics and Spine Specialists help your child start his or her journey to optimal arm and foot health. Request an appointment by calling 214-556-0590.