A Greenstick fracture is an incomplete fracture in which the bone is bent, but not enough to break. This type of injury occurs most often in children, whose bones are more flexible than those of adults. Get to know what Greenstick fracture is, how it happens, symptoms, treatment options, and precautions to be taken care.
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Greenstick fractures are rare in adults but common in children, who still have high levels of calcium in their bones that make them flexible. Sometimes Greenstick fractures are difficult to diagnose, which is why you should see an orthopedic specialist if you suspect you have any kind of fracture. Here is what you need to know about greenstick fractures.
Why and how could it happen?
The main and only cause of Greenstick fracture is falling down. Children that fall down during playing games outside mostly fall on their leg and their forearm. Greenstick fracture commonly seen in children because a child’s bones are much more flexible than adult bone, an incomplete or greenstick fracture may happen.
Symptoms of Greenstick Fracture
The signs and symptoms of Greenstick fracture greatly depend on the injury’s severity. Mild cases of Greenstick fracture are often misdiagnosed for bruises and sprains. Severe cases of Greenstick fracture usually cause an obvious deformity which is accompanied by swelling and severe pain.
Luckily, most of Greenstick fracture does not cause pain. Usually, Greenstick fracture does not cause any symptoms at first. However, some Greenstick fracture immediately causes swelling in the injured area. Your orthopaedist will suspect that you might have Greenstick fracture if you report any nagging or stiffness in the body part on which you fell.
Greenstick Fracture – Tests to Diagnose
The medical professionals that deal with Greenstick fracture are called orthopedists. Your medical doctor will certainly refer you to an orthopedist if he/she thinks you might have Greenstick fracture.
Your orthopedist will first perform a physical exam of the area possibly affected by Greenstick fracture. That physical exam will include inspecting the area for:
- Open wounds
It is also referred as Child bone fracture. If your kid is suspected to have Greenstick fracture, an orthopedist will ask it to move its fingers to check out for any nerve damage. An orthopedist will also check your kid’s joints below and above the fracture. However, a final diagnosis of Greenstick fracture is made with the help of X-ray scan test.
Treatment for Greenstick Fracture
Treatment of Greenstick fracture greatly depends on the severity of fracture. It is necessary to treat a child with a severe case of Greenstick fracture by immobilizing the affected area with a cast. Removable splints are used for the treatment of less severe cases of Greenstick fracture. A medical professional may also straighten the cracked bone manually. Before this procedure, a sedation drug is given to the patient.
Home Remedies for Greenstick Fracture
There are no known home remedies for Greenstick fracture. However, you can use home remedies for pain if your child has pains associated with its Greenstick fracture.
Recovery Period for Greenstick Fracture
The full recovery period or healing time from Greenstick fracture is about four weeks. However, it is anywhere from 2 – 8 weeks.
How Long Does it Take for a Greenstick Fracture to Heal?
Most cases of Greenstick fracture were reported to heal in 4 to 8 weeks. During that time, it is important to wear properly the prescribed cast or a removable splint.
Prevention of Greenstick Fracture
The kids are almost all the time victims of Greenstick fracture. However, there are ways how parents can prevent their children get painful Greenstick fracture.
The best way to prevent Greenstick fracture is to let your child play on a soft surface on which falling down will not cause a bone fracture. If your child plans to engage in any sports activity, make sure it uses protective equipment such as knee sleeves etc.
Dr. Kaleem Mohammed graduated as a Bachelor of Physiotherapy in 2014 from Deccan College of Physiotherapy, affiliated to Dr. N.T.R. University of Health Sciences, Vijayawada, India. Dr. Kaleem is an expert at handling physiotherapy needs of patients suffering from orthopedic and spinal conditions and post-surgery rehabilitation. Dr. Kaleem is associated with HealthClues since its inception where he facilitates diagnosis and advanced consultation with senior doctors. He is also a medical researcher and prolific writer who loves sharing insightful commentaries and useful tips to educate the patient community about fitness, treatment options, and post-treatment recovery.