Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments of Greenstick Fractures

Child

Unlike other types of fractures, greenstick fractures involve bones that are bent, rather than broken. They are somewhat rare in adults but common in children, who still have high levels of calcium in their bones that make them flexible. Greenstick fractures are sometimes difficult to diagnose, which is why you should see an orthopedic doctor if you suspect you have any kind of fracture. Here is what you need to know about greenstick fractures.

Causes

In nearly every case, greenstick fractures are caused by falls. Although greenstick fractures can happen to any bone, they are most common in the arms. This is because most people try to break their falls with their hands and arms.

Symptoms

While you may think of fractures as being extremely painful, most greenstick fractures don’t cause great pain. Some greenstick fractures don’t have any immediate symptoms, while others cause swelling. The most common sign of a greenstick fracture is deformity of the limb. Report any nagging pain or stiffness in a limb after a fall to an orthopedic doctor so he or she can take X-rays and determine if a greenstick fracture is present.

Treatments

With severe greenstick fractures, it is necessary to use a cast to immobilize the bone so that it heals properly. If the bone is significantly bent, the orthopedist will deliver a sedative and reposition it. For less serious greenstick fractures, a removable splint may be used in place of a cast. It is essential to wear the splint as directed or the bone won’t heal. Most greenstick fractures heal in four to eight weeks, though it is also necessary to avoid high-impact activities for a few weeks after the cast or splint is removed. The orthopedic doctor will likely perform another X-ray after treatment to ensure the bone has completely healed.

Let Able Orthopedic & Sports Medicine stop greenstick fractures from becoming more serious problems. Our NYC orthopedic doctors and surgeons treat a range of orthopedic issues. You can make an appointment at our orthopedic clinic by calling (866) 650-8063. 

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