Are you aware that your child’s soft and tender bones are highly prone to fractures? And that these fractures may go unnoticed for long periods of time? My article will help you identify these fractures to help your child receive a prompt treatment.
Infants and young children have soft and flexible bones that get bent very easily. The tenderness of such bones makes them vulnerable to external impact. Children tend to fall when they are playing. This can result in a greenstick fracture. This fracture was first identified by two orthopedists Michael Slupecki and John Insall. The name of the fracture condition aptly suggests the nature in which it affects. Just like a fresh green twig of a tree breaks easily when it is bent, so does a child’s flexible bone. And much like the twig, one part of the bone remains unaffected while the other shows a deformity.
Here are the three main types of greenstick fractures for your reference.
- Bow Fracture: Such a fracture can be distinguished on account of a curvature along the longitudinal axis of the bone.
- Transverse Fracture: This fracture shows up in the cortex and goes right up to the mid-portion of the bone. It however does not affect the opposite vertex but we see its orientation along the bone’s longitudinal axis.
- Buckle Fracture: Buckle fracture is often caused by a high impact on a particular area of a limb making it break off.
Ways to Identification
This fracture is very risky and can go unidentified for weeks together. The area affected with a fracture usually appears swollen and reddish. They can cause severe pain in the affected area and many a time, younger children who are unable to express the events of its occurrence or the intensity of pain may cry uncontrollably. Older children may try to dismiss the pain by self-control but are often seen to be protective of the affected area. Parents are advised to get prompt check up done from a orthopedist on having the slightest doubts or if the child has suffered a major fall.
It is advised that treatment of this fracture should never be delayed. These fractures are caused due to bending of fragile bones. If prompt treatment is not started, the child may have to bear long-term consequences such as painful inflammation and infection in the affected area and permanent deformity in the bone
If however, the treatment is started on time, the predicted healing time is approximately 3 weeks. The orthopedist may just adjust and join the broken parts together by pushing them in the right place. The affected limb is usually put in the cast to ensure speedy recovery of the bone.
Doctors usually prescribe an anti-inflammation drug to reduce the swelling in fractured area. In greenstick fractures, the age of the patients is an added advantage because fractures heal faster in young children and they don’t tend to be as painful once the recovery process begins. In minuscule number of cases, the orthopedist may prescribe a surgery to ensure successful recovery.
Recommended Diet During Treatment
Doctors recommend a diet rich in Vitamin A and C as they are essential to boost fracture healing process. Ensure that your child receives plenty of natural Vitamin D. This can be done by giving your child an early morning solar exposure for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Doctors may also suggest a calcium rich diet for your child. The proportion of calcium intake should be strictly as per doctor’s prescription only. Excessive calcium intake makes the bone joints hard and it has also been identified as a major cause for kidney stones amongst children.
Safety Measures to Prohibit Fractures
There are some easy precautions to be exercised by parents on daily basis to ensure that your child doesn’t get greenstick fracture. Some of them are listed below for your guidance.
- Ensure to include calcium in your child’s daily food intake. Calcium can be derived through daily consumption of milk, cheese, tofu, broccoli, yogurt, spinach, orange, kale, soy, nuts, whole wheat bread, fish, eggs, etc. You may plan your child’s diet after consulting a certified nutrition specialist.
- Encourage your child to engage in physical exercises and sports activities. This helps to strengthen your child’s bones.
- When playing, ensure that your child is using good safety gear such as shoes, etc.
- Parents need to ensure that their children are playing in spaces which are safe and secure. This helps to avoid chances of fractures.
- If a child is prone to greenstick fractures, then the parents or guardians need to be extra alert before enrolling them for certain extra-curricular activities.
- Parents needs to compulsorily use seat belts and car seats for young children.
Following a few of these safety precaution by parents, goes a long way in ensuring a child’s future development. After all, isn’t it the most essential part of parenting?