Proper treatment can prevent long-term complications or problems. Treatment will depend on how serious the fracture is, but may include:
Extra support may be needed to protect, support, and keep the fracture in line while it heals. Supportive steps may include a splint, brace, or cast. A sling may be necessary to help stabilize the arm.
Some fractures cause pieces of bone to separate. The doctor will need to put these pieces back into their proper place. This may be done:
Without surgery—anesthesia will be used to decrease pain while the doctor moves the pieces back into place
With surgery—pins, screws, plates, rods, or wires may be needed to reconnect the pieces and hold them in place
Children’s bones are still growing at an area of the bone called the growth plate. If the fracture affected the growth plate, a specialist may be needed. Injuries to the growth plate will need to be monitored to make sure the bone can continue to grow as expected.
Healing and Rehabilitation
Healing time ranges from three weeks for a simple finger fracture to many months for a complicated fracture of a long bone. All fractures require rehabilitation exercises to regain muscle strength and joint motion.
Delayed union—It takes longer than usual to heal, but does heal.
Nonunion—The bone does not heal and needs some special treatment.
Infection—This is more likely to happen after an open fracture or surgery.
Nerve or artery damage—This usually occurs as a result of severe trauma.
Compartment syndrome—This is severe swelling in the spaces of the limbs that causes damage to body tissues.
Late arthritis—This may happen if the surface of a joint is badly damaged.
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