Buckle Fracture of Forearm
A buckle fracture happens when a fracture on one side of a bone causes it to bend or buckle toward the damaged side. They are most common in the radius. This is the larger of the two bones of the forearm.
This problem is more common in children because their bones are soft and more flexible.
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The most common cause of this problem is falling onto an outstretched hand or extended wrist.
This problem is more common in children who are older than 2 years of age.
The main symptom is forearm or wrist pain, with or without swelling. Other problems may be:
- Numbness and tingling
- Changes in the way the forearm looks
- Problems moving the forearm
The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. You will also be asked how the injury happened. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the wrist and forearm.
Images of the arm may be taken. This can be done with:
It may take up to 4 weeks to heal. Activities will be limited.
The goals of treatment are to ease pain and swelling. Pain relievers can help. Other choices are:
- A cast or splint to keep the bone in line as it heals
- Physical therapy to help with strength, flexibility, and range of motion
Children's bones have growth plates that let bones grow and harden with age. A child with a fracture may need to be checked over time to make sure the bone heals the right way and keeps growing.
Most fractures are due to accidents. These are hard to prevent.
Kids Health—Nemours Foundation
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Caring for Kids—Canadian Paediatric Society
Buckle fracture of distal radius. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/buckle-fracture-of-distal-radius. Accessed February 16, 2021.
Forearm fractures in children. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00039. Accessed February 16, 2021.
Kraus R, Wessel L. The treatment of upper limb fractures in children and adolescents. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2010 Dec;107(51-52):903-910.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Warren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM Last Updated: 2/16/2021