Like adults, cracks or fracture also occur on various bones of children. But the bones of growing children are completely different from the bones of adults. The paediatric or neglected fracture requires additional and special care. The paediatric fracture further needs to be treated by a skilled orthopaedic surgeon to eliminate permanent deformity and functional disability.
A cause of neglected fracture differs from one child to another. But some of the common fractures in a child are elbow fracture, wrist fracture, femur fracture, and multiple fractures. A bone is always fractured occurs when the bone fails to absorb the force or pressure applied to it. The bones of a child may crack or fracture due to falls, trauma, or a direct kick. The orthopaedic surgeons always treat the neglected fracture based on its exact causes and symptoms.
The symptoms of neglected fracture also differ from one child to another. Some of the common symptoms of neglected fracture are swelling, pain, redness, bruising or warmth in the affected area. Sometime the injured area of the child’s body also appears deformed. Likewise, the child finds it difficult to move or use the affected area in a normal way.
The skilled orthopaedic surgeons always start diagnosing the neglected fracture by examining the affected area physically, identifying the causes of the fracture, and checking the child’s medical history. Also, they diagnose the neglected fracture through imaging examinations like X-ray, MRI scan, or CT scan. However, the diagnosis method always differs based on the symptoms and severity of the fractured bone.
The skilled orthopaedic surgeons always make the treatment plan based on the child’s age, type and severity of the fracture, and child’s tolerance to specific therapies and medication. Initially, they treat the neglected fracture through medication, traction, and /or cast or splint. But they perform surgery to reposition certain types of bones precisely. Based on the type and fracture of the fracture, the orthopaedic surgeons may use internal or external fixation devices.
A child’s bones are completely different from an adult’s bones. A child’s bone further heals faster than an adult’s bones. Hence, the neglected fracture can be treated effectively if the child receives medication and wear the cast or splint for a specific period of time. However, the orthopaedic surgeon needs to examine the injured area and assess the treatment plan continuously. On the other hand, the surgery will require the child to put the affected bone on rest, and follow the post-operation care recommended by the orthopaedic surgeon.
Two brothers came to me with same type of left elbow deformity (gun-stock). They suffered left elbow fractures which had been treated with plaster cast instead of surgery.
I operated both of them on same day for deformity correction. I allowed them to start elbow movement after 2 weeks of surgery. Captured photo below is after post surgery which looks good deformity correction.
10 year old female patient came to me with left elbow deformity. She sustained a trauma (lateral condyle fracture) at the age of 3 years which had been treated with plaster cast instead of surgery.
I examined her carefully and did a deformity correction surgery. She is now happy with her limb appearance.