General Hands

Hand Fractures in Children

Children have a different bone structure than adults. Their bones are softer and are growing. An adult will have harder bones that are completely grown. Because there is such a difference, when a child has a broken bone, it needs to be treated differently than it would be in an adult.

Fractures of the hand and fingers are common in children for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Curious children may put their hands in something dangerous
  • Hands and fingers can be crushed in closing doors
  • Sports injuries can break bones
  • Falling and twisting while playing can cause fractures as well

Essentially, you must remember that children are active and curious. They are more prone to injury simply because they dont know how to keep themselves out of harms way.

Types of Fractures in Children

Most people assume that they will see a deformity that indicates the hand, finger, or arm has been fractured. A vast majority of fractures in children will be non-displaced. This means the bones did not move out of place. Another name for this is hairline fracture. The bone may not even be fully broken into two pieces, but the fracture could still be present.

Fractures in children have to be handled in the proper manner. Thats because growing kids have something called growth plates at the ends of the bones. These cart ledge plates allow the bone to continue growing and lengthening, and the whole area is weaker, making it especially prone to breaking. If the bone doesnt heal properly at the growth plate area, then this could actually limit the growth of the bone in the future.

Treating a Hand Fracture in Children

As long as the break is clean, there is no need for surgery and the physician may be able to “set” the bone and then place a cast or splint on the hand or arm. In most of these cases, the break will be healed in a month. Thats because children heal quickly. However, if the fracture is severe, then surgery may be needed. Pins may be placed to keep the broken areas in the proper alignment until the bone is able to heal properly. It is important that fractures in the joints or those that are twisted are realigned exactly to ensure proper healing. That means the child will need surgery to ensure the fracture is aligned in the right manner.

While you may be able to prevent certain fractures in your children, many of them will not be preventable. Its important that you teach your child not to reach out and touch machines or other types of equipment. Additionally, you can have your child wear wrist guards whenever they are engaging in sports. While this will lower the risk of a fracture in the hand or fingers, it will not take away all of the risk. Children are naturally curious and full of energy. They will likely put themselves in more than a few dangerous situations no matter how careful you are as a parent.