What to expect when your child has a broken bone
The timing of the treatment for a fracture is determined by the nature of the injury. You should see your primary care provider or go to an urgent care or emergency department right away for a suspected fracture. They can evaluate and stabilize the injured area with a splint or sling and give you guidance on the next steps for your child’s treatment.
It is common and may be beneficial to wait a week or so to put a cast on the affected area. The wait will allow the swelling to go down before the cast is applied. Even before the cast is on, the healing begins at the time of the fracture.
Children who are still growing have a great advantage when it comes to healing, and their bones will often heal perfectly or even straighten out as they grow back together. Adults are much more likely to need surgery for a fracture than kids are.
“We look for every opportunity to help the child’s body heal itself and avoid unnecessary surgery.” – Dr. Mark Sinclair, Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon
Preparing for your appointment
When you come for your fracture care appointment, please bring any x-rays taken at another facility at the time of the injury.
Once you establish care with our fracture team, you will usually be seen in the clinic of the same provider each time you come back for a follow-up visit. The healing process varies depending on your child’s age and the nature of the fracture. Typically, it takes anywhere from three to 12 weeks, including healing of the fracture and rehabilitation, until your child has regained full function.
You may need to see your fracture care provider three or four times during that period to check on your child’s progress, apply a new cast if necessary, and check their range of motion when the final cast is removed.