Buckle Fracture

A buckle fracture is a common injury during childhood. This type of fracture happens from a fall onto an outstretched hand, causing one or both forearm bones to slightly compress itself. The bone does not break completely, but this injury does cause pain, swelling, and discomfort.

Signs and symptoms of an Buckle Fracture may include:
  • Persistent or sever pain, swelling or bruising
  • Difficulty or inability to move or bear weight on the injured limb

Your child will receive a removable splint to help them be more comfortable as the injured bone heals. The splint should be worn full-time (day and night) for 3 weeks. If your child is comfortable, they may remove the splint for hand hygiene, bathing, doing their homework, and other sedentary activities at home. After 3 weeks, your child can discontinue wearing their splint and they may start to move their wrist. They should be pain-free, but might be a little stiff and unsure about moving at first. If you find your child removing their splint earlier and they appear to be pain-free, they do not need to wear the splint anymore. The bone has healed enough.

Activity Modification

The child may continue their normal activities, as pain allows, within their splint. After removing the splint, allow a gradual progression for returning to full use in sports. They may prefer to wear their splint during sports activities for an extra week or two.

Managing Pain and Swelling

Elevation - Keep the injured wrist elevated as much as possible for the first few days after the injury to minimize swelling. This will also help decrease pain.

Ice - Can be used 3 to 4 times per day to help manage pain and swelling. Use a cold pack or bag of crushed ice for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. The splint can be removed for icing. Be sure to place a damp cloth between the ice pack and skin to prevent a cold injury.

Medication - Over-the-counter children’s medicines such as acetaminophen (TylenolTM), ibuprofen (AdvilTM), or naproxen (AleveTM) may help reduce pain. Follow dosage instructions from your doctor or the bottle.

Move unaffected joints - Joints that are not included in the splint should be moved through their full range of motion several times per day. Feeling tightness, stiffness, pulling, stretching, and/or discomfort as they
start to move is normal and will improve.

Resume daily routine as tolerated - This includes schoolwork and other activities. Increase activity as pain allows, avoiding things that increase pain at the fracture site.