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2/25/19blog post

is it broken?

first things first – when in doubt, get it checked out.

The only sure-fire way to know if a bone is broken is to get an X-ray. You’ll feel better hearing from a professional. However if you are a “wait and see” kind of parent, then a few tidbits of info may help you decide what to do.

sprain/strain = an overstretched, torn or slipped muscle, ligament or tendon. Those are the fibrous tissues that connect muscle to bones or other muscles.

fracture = a broken bone

what are your symptoms?

Many of the symptoms are the same between a break and a sprain – pain, tenderness, bruising and even swelling. Both can make it hard to move or bear weight. But there are a few signs that may tell you what you are dealing with.

Crack or pop? A snap or grinding sound when the injury occurred is more common in the break of a bone, while you are more likely to have heard a pop if you suffered a sprain.

Sharp or dull? A sprain can actually hurt more because it’s a sharp, shooting pain, while a fracture may be more of a dull, throbbing pain. However bad breaks can cause extreme pain.

Can you put weight on it? If you can’t walk or push on something with your arms without a great deal of pain, it’s probably a fracture.

first line of defense

Follow the RICE method for the first 48 hours after an injury. If symptoms continue after two days, see the pediatrician or a pediatric specialist.

kids’ bones need special treatment

No matter how much your child looks like an adult, remember that his bones are still growing — sometimes until age 21! A broken bone in a child needs special care during treatment so it continues to grow normally, especially if it’s in a growth plate. These are areas at the ends of long bones where it expands as the child grows. It’s also the weakest part of a growing skeleton and more likely to be broken. Pediatric orthopaedic specialists have extra training in healing a break in a growth plate, while not stopping the growth. They also use low-dose radiation software during X-rays.

Learn more about treatment at Dayton Children's

consult a specialist

schedule an appointment contact us

If you think your child's bone is fractured or broken you can schedule an appointment with our orthopedics department to have it looked at. 

If this a medical emergency, please call 911 or go to the emergency room

schedule an appointment

The orthopedics department welcomes phone calls to 937-641-3010 during our normal business hours of 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday-Friday.