Pediatric Hand Fractures

Pediatric Hand Fractures

July 18, 2021

Paul Nielsen, MD

Orthopaedic Surgeon

What Are the Symptoms of a Pediatric Hand Fracture?

  • Pain in the hand after an injury
  • Significant swelling in the hand
  • Refusal to use the hand in younger children

What Are Common Causes of These Pediatric Fractures?

  • Falling off playground equipment like monkey bars or trampolines
  • Landing on the arm after a fall while running
  • Crush or smash injuries like a finger closed in a door

Are There Different Types of Breaks?

  • Location
    • Phalanges: involve the small bones in the finger
    • Metacarpal: the bones that connect the fingers to the wrist 
  • Open Fractures
    • The bone comes through the skin and is contaminated
    • Typically are fixed emergently to decrease risk of infection

How are Pediatric Hand Fractures Treated?

  • Mildly displaced or angled fractures can often be treated with immobilization
    • Usually a splint or cast for 3-6 weeks
    • Kids are often able to correct a small amount of angle while they grow and heal
  • More displaced breaks are often treated with a closed reduction or “setting”
    • Sedation is given through an IV but usually no breathing tube is inserted
    • The broken finger is straightened and a cast or splint is placed to hold it lined up
  • Surgery is typically used for breaks that re-displace after a closed reduction or teenagers who are almost done growing
    • This usually involves a temporary pin if surgery is necessary

Concerned about a hand or finger fracture for your child? Call 308-865-2570 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nielsen today. Same day appointments typically available. No referral required.


About the Author

Paul Nielsen, MD is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand, elbow, and shoulder surgery at New West Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Surgery in Kearney, NE.

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