Your child has suffered a "Torus/Buckle" fracture to the wrist bone (see picture).
A fracture and a break are the same thing. Young bone is still soft and very flexible. For this reason, instead of breaking all the way through the bone has a small crack or kink on one side only.
This is a common injury for walking children and occurs following a fall onto the hand.
Your child may experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Pain at the wrist
- Reluctant to use the hand e.g. gripping objects or turning the door handle
How is it diagnosed?
After an assessment the treating Doctor/Nurse practitioner will request an x-ray to confirm the child has this injury.
- This type of injury heals very well using a removable Velcro splint compared to the cumbersome plaster cast.
- The splint helps relieve the pain and discomfort.
- Most of these injuries heal perfectly if the splint is worn for 3 weeks.
- The splint can be removed for bathing/ showering/toileting without causing more damage. The health professional will advise how to remove/re-apply the splint.
- If your child removes the splint before 3 weeks, is comfortable and can use the wrist freely there is NO reason to force them to wear the splint for the remaining 3 weeks.
Pain relief and comfort
This injury is stable and heals quickly without problems; therefore no further follow up (x-ray, physiotherapy, GP, orthopaedic clinic) is required.
For the first week provide your child with appropriate doses of regular simple painkillers such as Paracetamol and/or Ibuprofen (if allergic/intolerant inform the treating health professional). These medicines can be purchased over the counter or obtained from a high street pharmacy using the Minor Ailments Service.
After 3 weeks
- Provide the child with painkillers 30-40 minutes before removing the splint.
- Observe the child trying to use the wrist.
- If it is still sore/stiff reapply the splint for comfort. Do this for short periods (1-2 hours) as it is best to start gently using the wrist from now on.
- If after 3 weeks the wrist is very sore/swollen or your child refuses to use the wrist please contact your GP during working hours.
Getting back to normal
Your child can return to school and may return to sports such as swimming as soon as comfortable, but should avoid contact sports (such as football, rugby and basketball) for 6 weeks.
If your child removes the splint before 3 weeks and appears to be comfortable and uses the arm freely then there is NO reason to force them to wear the splint for the full 3 weeks.
Worries of concerns
If after 3 weeks the wrist still seems very sore, swollen or your child is not willing to use it then please see your GP for advice For urgent problems or concerns out with working hours please contact NHS 24 on 111.
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