Shaft Fracture (forearm) - Child
On this page
- What has happened?
- What should I expect?
- What should I do?
- What should I not do?
- Will I be followed up?
- What if I have concerns/questions?
What has happened?
- Your child has broken one or both bones in their arm
- This type of break is common in children, and normally heals well in a cast without an operation
What should I expect?
- Your child may have needed to have the bone ends but back into place by Emergency Department (ED) staff - this will help the bone heal in the correct placement
- They will be placed in a cast for approximately 6 weeks, usually to above their elbow
- They may develop bruising and/or swelling in their fingers - this is normal and usually settles with the use of elevation
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
- If your child seems to be in pain, they should be given simple pain relief (e.g. paracetamol and ibuprofen)
- It may be more comfortable for them to prop their arm up on pillows when they are sitting or sleeping
- Keep the cast dry by covering it with a plastic bag and securing it with tape while showering - a wet cast will become soggy and lose its shape
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
What if I have concerns/questions?
- If your injury is not settling or you are worried about how it is healing, please 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, in comparison to the other hand