Do fractures require surgery or lead to complications?

It's always painful to watch your child go through an injury, and in the back of your mind, you may worry that your child won't overcome it. When it comes to things like broken bones, they're fairly common during youth. Children fall and get hurt regularly.

It's always a good idea to seek medical attention for those injuries, though. Children who break their bones often may have an underlying health condition. Those who are hurt may also develop complications, so it's best to allow a medical professional to look at the injury before diagnosing it.

Many children develop greenstick fractures. These are fractures that break on one side. Sometimes, children get torus fractures, where the bone twists, buckles or weakens without completely breaking. Complete fractures take place when bones break all the way through.

Children are still growing, and that puts them at risk for another kind of fracture that damages the growth plates. If that happens, the bone may grow more slowly than others in the body. It could also grow at an angle or in an unusual shape. This kind of fracture requires monitoring, because it may not be obvious for a year or more after a broken bone occurs. If your child's broken bone does not heal correctly, it could require surgery to reduce the risk of further complications. Displaced fractures may also require surgery to put them back into position.

If your child is hurt in an accident caused by another person, that person should be held responsible for the medical bills and care your child needs. Broken bones aren't always simple, so make sure you understand the extent of the injury before settling financially.

Source: Healthy Children, "Children And Broken Bones," accessed March 23, 2018

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