A greenstick fracture is a type of bone fracture that occurs when a bone bends and breaks partially instead of completely fracturing into separate pieces. The fracture resembles the breaking of a small green branch from a tree.
Greenstick fractures are more common in children under the age of ten due to the softer and more pliable nature of their bones. In such fractures, the bone may bend and crack but not break completely, making diagnosis difficult.
To aid in the healing process and prevent the bone from shattering entirely if the child falls on it again, greenstick fractures are typically immobilized with a cast. The cast also helps bind the broken portions of the bone together to promote healing.
Depending on the degree of the greenstick fracture, there will be a range of signs and symptoms. Sprains or bruises might be mistaken for mild fractures. More severe greenstick fractures could result in a clear deformity along with a lot of discomfort and swelling.
The following are signs of greenstick fractures:
- Tender, bruised or swollen affected area
- The fractured area appears deformed
In case your child experiences persistent discomfort in a limb that has been injured, it is advisable to contact your doctor. However, if your child is unable to bear weight, or there are visible signs of severe pain, deformity, or swelling, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention.
- Bending of a bone can cause greenstick fractures. A greenstick fracture can be brought on by any force that causes a long bone, such as an arm or leg bone, to bend but not totally shatter. The bone splits on one side rather than breaking into two pieces.
- Greenstick fractures can occur due to various factors, including participation in sports, car accidents, and falls.
- Falls are the leading cause of childhood fractures, with arm fractures being more common than leg fractures. This is because when children fall, they instinctively reach out their arms to break the fall, resulting in a higher likelihood of arm fractures than leg fractures.
Young children are more susceptible to greenstick fractures than adults because of the softer and more malleable nature of their bones. Instead of shattering into separate pieces, a greenstick fracture involves the bone bending and cracking. The majority of greenstick fractures occur in kids under the age of 10.