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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 treatment.

Broken Bones and Fractures

Did you know the terms “fracture” and “break” mean the same thing? A fracture is 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 soon 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 received broken bones from 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 Can I Tell 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 diagnosis. It’s often hard to diagnose a broken bone without an X-ray and a medical exam.” Shyam Kishan, MD

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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:

  • Is well rested, 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

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 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 simple fractures, because they can get infected.

Most human bones are surprisingly strong and can generally stand up to fairly 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.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Our compassionate team of medical professionals will sit down with you and your child to carry out a physical examination to make a diagnosis. The physician will often order an x-ray with our low radiation Xrays. 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.”
Richard Hostin, M.D.

Call 214-556-0590 to make an appointment.

Fracture services for children from birth through adolescence at three convenient locations: Dallas, Frisco and McKinney.