Supracondylar (elbow) Fracture - 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 a bone in their elbow
- This type of break is common in children, and normally heals well in a cast without an operation
What should I expect?
- Your child will have been placed in a cast in the Emergency Department (ED), and they will have been given a sling to help with the weight of the cast
- They may develop bruising and swelling in the fingers
- They will be in a cast for approximately 4 weeks
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)
- Encourage them to keep moving their fingers
- Keep the cast dry at all times - cover 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
What if I have concerns/questions?
- If your child's 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