Shaft Fracture (forearm) - Child | Te Whatu Ora | Health New Zealand | Hauora a Toi Bay of Plenty

Shaft Fracture (forearm) - Child

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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