Greenstick Fracture - Child | Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand | Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty

Greenstick Fracture - Child

On this page

What has happened?

  • Your child has experienced a greenstick fracture
  • This is when the bone breaks through just one side instead of both - this is common in children

What should I expect?

  • Your child's injury will be placed in a plaster cast in the Emergency Department (ED)
  • Your child may be very sore - this is normal and should be helped by the cast
  • The cast will stay on for 4-6 weeks, until the fracture has healed
  • You will also be given a sling to help your child with the weight of the cast

What should I do?

  • Ensure your child is wearing their sling at all times - the cast can be quite heavy for them and the sling helps protect the break
  • It may be more comfortable for your child to sleep or sit propped up on pillows
  • If your child seems to be in pain, they can be given simple pain relief (e.g. paracetamol and ibuprofen)
  • Keep the cast dry at all times by covering it with a plastic bag and secure it with tape before showering - a wet cast will get soggy and fall apart

What should I not do?

  • Your child should avoid contact sports and activities (e.g. rugby, trampoline, play fighting) while in the cast

Will I be followed up?

  • Yes, a follow-up appointment in the Orthopaedic Clinic will be requested when you leave the Emergency Department (ED) and you will be contacted about a date and time. This should be within the first week.

What if I have concerns/questions?

  • If your child's injury is not settling or you have other concerns, you should first see your GP - take your ACC form/number with you
  • Please seek medical attention if you experience the following
    • Increasing pain in the arm or hand
    • Numbness or tingling in the arm or hand
    • Your fingers go cold or turn blue white, compared with the other hand