Buckle Fracture

Pediatrics bones and fractures are different than those in adults.  A common wrist injury in kids is known as a “buckle fracture”.  While adult bones tends to crack like a piece of chalk, the forearm bones (radius and ulna) of kids tend to “buckle”, or collapse and deform like a piece of Play-Doh.

Buckle fracture of the wrist in a child

The degree of “displacement” (the shift or angulation of the bone pieces) along with the child’s age determines the ideal treatment.  Minimally displaced fractures usually heal uneventfully in a cast or splint.  Occasionally, the fracture fragments are shifted or notably angled.  In these cases, setting the bone may be required to minimize growth disturbances and optimize function of the hand going forward.

Throughout treatment, it is important to continue to move the fingers to prevent stiffness and minimize swelling.  After the fracture heals, therapy may be needed to recover motion of the wrist, strength, and function.