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Pediatric Fracture Treatment

So your child decided to ride their bike down the basement steps. And … it didn’t go quite as they planned. Instead of glory, they got a broken arm.

Now you’re likely worrying about what’s next. What does this mean for your child’s arm down the road? Will they be able to throw a ball or play the violin again?

Broken bones are scary. And stressful. We get it. That’s why we’re here to answer your questions and get your child back into the game after a pediatric fracture. At Cleveland Clinic Children’s, our healthcare providers treat broken bones to more complicated injuries with compassion, understanding and expertise.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic for Pediatric Fracture Care?

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Convenient care:

If your child is 18 and younger between and has already had an X-ray, you can book your own appointment at one of our Ohio locations. Our Ohio patients can also find the day and time that works best for them by using our online pediatric fracture self-scheduling tool.

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High-volume specialty:

Our pediatric orthopaedic specialists see thousands of patients for knee, hip, spine and elbow problems each year. They can see your child at a location that’s convenient for you.

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Patient-centered care:

At Cleveland Clinic Children’s, we treat your children as if they are our own. They (and your family) are our focus in all that we do. Our providers will help you understand what’s happening at each step of the healing journey. And we’ll give your child the care and support they need from diagnosis and beyond. Meet our team.

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Specialized knowledge:

Trained to treat children’s orthopaedic problems, our team offers expert diagnosis and treatment for bone and joint injuries. We care for simple pediatric fractures to complex orthopaedic issues.  What’s more — your child gets the expertise of multiple pediatric specialists, from surgeons to physical therapists and more. We offer care that’s tailored to children’s unique needs and the way they heal.

Pediatric Fracture Diagnosis at Cleveland Clinic

Diagnosing and treating a pediatric fracture quickly is important. We know you (and your child) might feel nervous about what’s next. We’re here to help you every step of the way. Maybe your child has already had X-rays in the emergency room or at a Cleveland Clinic Ortho Express Care location in Ohio. If so, you’re off to a good start. They’re the first step in planning your child’s treatment.

X-rays give us a lot of information about pediatric fractures. But other imaging tests help us learn even more about what type of fracture your child has. We use these results to design a treatment plan that’s right for your child. While X-rays are often the only imaging required, we may need to give your child one or more of these imaging tests:

CT scan

We use computers and X-rays in a CT scan to take pictures of your child’s bones in cross sections. This can help us better find where the damage is.

MRI

An MRI uses a magnetic field to take very detailed images of your child’s pediatric fracture. The detailed images from this test makes it easier to diagnose stress fractures. These can be hard to see on regular X-rays.

Locations

Schedule an appointment to meet with a provider in-person or virtually. And when you need care right away for urgent injuries, visit our Ortho Express Care™ clinics.

Pediatric Fracture Treatment at Cleveland Clinic

Pediatric fractures can be painful, and can take several weeks to heal. It all depends on the kind of fracture your child has, how severe the break is and if there are any problems during or after treatment. The good news is that kids tend to heal faster than adults. We use several different types of treatments to help make this happen.

Casts and splints

In most cases, we can treat a pediatric fracture with a cast or splint — which keep the healing bone from moving. Doing this supports the arm or leg and helps the bone grow back together and heal properly. We’ll usually put a splint on smaller bones like fingers and toes. Larger bones, like arms and legs, tend to heal better with a cast’s hard protection on all sides.

Surgery

If your child’s fracture is more complicated, we might recommend orthopaedic surgery. This can happen if your child has a compound fracture — when part of the broken bone pokes through their skin. Surgery may also be recommended in more severe angulated fractures, or ones that are at risk for not healing properly. Our orthopaedic team might repair this break with pins, screws or plates. These parts keep the bone steady, so it heals correctly. Your child will also wear a cast or splint after surgery to keep the repaired bone from moving and feeling better. If your child needs surgery, our pediatric orthopaedic surgeons and pediatric anesthesia team keep your child’s comfort a priority. We can manage any pain after surgery using a variety of options to make sure they are safe and comfortable.

Growth Plate Fractures

Growing children have something in their bones called growth plates. These are thin cartilage discs at the end of long bones — in their arms and legs. Growth plates allow kids’ bones to grow longer when the cartilage cells multiply. This continues until about age 14 to 16. That’s when this cartilage turns into solid bone. Until then, when your child breaks a bone, they can also damage these important growth areas. Without the right treatment, the fractured bone may not heal or grow properly. That’s why it’s important you talk with a Cleveland Clinic Children’s pediatric orthopaedic specialist. Our providers know how to successfully treat growth plate fractures to avoid complications.

Taking the Next Step

It’s no fun for any kid to spend a month or two in a cast. And it shouldn’t leave you feeling worried and stressed. But a pediatric fracture isn’t the end of your child’s Little League or musical career. At Cleveland Clinic Children’s, we’ll have them back in a starring role in no time. We’re here to help you get your child the care they need, when they need it.

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Need to See Someone Quickly? Self-Schedule for Pediatric Fracture Treatment

If your child is a Cleveland Clinic patient in Ohio, you may be able to self-schedule their pediatric fracture treatment with the first available provider — sometimes even on the same day. This online option can help you get in as quickly as possible at a time and Cleveland Clinic location that works best for you.

Simply answer a few questions, pick a location and appointment time from the available options, and hit submit.

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