How are broken bones in the hand and arm treated?
Doctors can treat most fractures by immobilizing (holding in place) the joint or bone, which is done with a splint, cast or brace. In other cases, the broken bone will need a reduction (when your child's doctor puts the bone in the right place or straightens the bone out).
- A closed reduction means there will not be any incisions (cuts made in the skin).
- This may be done in an emergency department, a clinic or in surgery.
- A medicine may be injected (put in the skin with a needle) to freeze the area.
- Sometimes children will need more medicine to make them sleepy (conscious sedation) when this is done because it can be painful.
All bone fractures will take time to heal. Activity will be limited while the bone is healing, and your child's doctor will decide how much time is needed based on the type and location of the fracture.
In some cases your child may need surgery to fix the bone.
If surgery is needed to treat the fracture:
- Pins, screws or plates may be needed to hold the bone in place.
What to expect after the surgery:
- Your child's hand will be bandaged, and sometimes your child will have a splint or cast over the bandage.
- Your child is usually able to go home the same day as surgery.
- Once the bone is healed, your surgeon might suggest that your child works with a hand therapist.
Why choose Children's Hospital Colorado for treatment of your child's fracture?
Our Hand and Upper Extremity Program at Children's Colorado provides a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to the care of your child. This means you have access to leading specialists from multiple departments who work together to treat your child.