Fractures and broken bones in children result from a variety of different accidents. A greenstick fracture is the most common type of fracture in children. Greenstick fractures most commonly occur from a slip and fall, a car accident, or any twisting motion. A fall can cause a child’s bone to bend further than it is able too, causing it to break. Many children are injured when they attempt to brace themselves from falling and extend their hand straight out. Such a fracture normally occurs to the bones in the forearm or to the leg bones. Besides a fall, blunt trauma such as a blow to a leg can also cause a greenstick fracture. For your child, a greenstick fracture can result in severe and chronic pain and will require immediate medical treatment. If your child has suffered a greenstick fracture as a result of an accident or another person’s negligence, the attorneys at the law offices of Frank J. Dito, Jr. can help you.

Greenstick fractures most commonly occur in the “long bones”, which are the bones in the arms and the legs.

There are three main bones in the arm:

  • Humerus- the bone between the shoulder and elbow
  • Radius– the bone between the elbow and wrist
  • Ulna- the bone between the elbow and wrist,

There are four main bones in the leg:

  • Femur – the bone between the hip and the knee
  • Patella – the kneecap
  • Tibia – the larger of the 2 leg bones between the knee and the foot
  • Fibula – the smaller of the two leg bones between the knee and the foot

Some of the most common types of fractures involving children that I see in my office are greenstick fractures. A greenstick fracture only occurs in children as a child’s bones are much softer than an adult’s, which gives them the ability to grow. As you age and stop growing, the calcium in your bone hardens. Since a child’s bones are so soft, they snap like a fresh branch on a tree. You will notice that part of the twig breaks, generally not very cleanly, while the other side stays whole, although it may be stressed from the bending process. The fracture commonly happens in the long bones of the body, generally the legs or the arms. It doesn’t usually penetrate the entire width of the bone, as it is usually limited to one side.

What is the treatment for a greenstick fracture?

Treating a greenstick fracture requires reducing the fracture by pulling the bone apart slightly and then pushing it back into place to straighten it out. To make sure that the fracture heals properly, your doctor will put your child’s affected limb into a cast, immobilizing it so that the bone can heal. The good news is that the healing times for greenstick fractures are often very quick, and these fractures are usually not as painful as some other types of fractures, especially after the fracture has been reduced. Sometimes, anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to bring down swelling at the fracture site. If the pain is severe, your doctor may advise you give your child Tylenol or Motrin.      

If your child has suffered a greenstick fracture, make sure that they receive appropriate medical care with an orthopedist; maintain a record of your child’s medical treatment; avoid speaking with any insurance adjusters before you speak to a personal injury attorney; and if your child has suffered a bone injury or greenstick fracture, you need the advice of an experienced Staten Island, New York personal injury attorney. Call Frank J. Dito, Jr. today at (718) 701-2776 for your free consultation.