Your child has sustained an injury of the wrist bone known as a “buckle fracture”.
What is a Buckle Fracture?
Young bone is still soft and very flexible. For this reason it is more likely to bend rather than break following an impact. This can result in a bulge in a bone instead of a complete break called a buckle fracture. They heal well and quickly with little chance of re-injury and will not cause long term problems.
Buckle fractures are treated with a splint to make them more comfortable and reduce the chances of further injury. The splint should be worn day and night for 3 weeks and should only be removed for washing. Sporting activity should be avoided for a further 3 weeks (a total of 6 weeks) to avoid risk of re-injury.
It is important that your child received appropriate doses of Paracetamol or Ibuprofen to help with the pain as it will still be sore for a short period, even with the splint. Please read and follow the dosage instructions on the packet or bottle carefully.
How long does it take to get better?
If after 3 weeks the wrist is a little sore and stiff after use, the splint can be reapplied for comfort but for short periods only, it is best to start gently using the arm as normally as possible from now on. If the child removes the splint before 3 weeks and appears to be comfortable and can use their arm freely, then there is no reason to force them to wear the splint for the full 3 weeks.
When to seek help
Under normal circumstances you child will not need to be seen again regarding the injury, However, if after 3 weeks the wrist still seems very sore, swollen or your child is not willing to use it, contact your GP to create a follow up.
In an emergency:
Southmead Hospital – 0117 4145100
Bristol Children’s Hospital – 0117 3428666
Royal United Hospital, Bath – 01225 824391
Visit the Minor Injuries Unit webpage for more information about this service.