Broken Bone In Hand And Fingers In Children

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Last Medical Review: March 28, 2020
Medically Reviewed by Dr. David Costa Navarro
Fractures in Children (March 28, 2020)

Children can break bones in the hand or fingers as they fall and receive themselves with the hand. Children who have broken bones in their hand or fingers usually get a bandage around the injury. Sometimes an operation is also needed to repair the damaged legs.

It usually takes about three to six weeks for the child to participate in sports lessons or other physical activity again.

Symptoms

When the child has injured his or her hand it hurts. Often you can see swelling or bruising where the damage is.

The injury does not have to mean that the child has broken a leg in his hand or fingers. For example, it may be a stretch that goes over time. You should pay attention to whether the child is able to move his fingers.

When and where should I seek care?

If the child is in a lot of pain, is unable to grasp smaller objects or if your finger looks oblique, you should seek care directly at a health center or on-call clinic. Because the skin is usually full, you do not see how serious the damage is. To find out, the child must be examined. You rarely need to go to an emergency room for this type of injury.

You can always call and receive medical advice at telephone number 911.

What can I do for myself?

To relieve the pain it is good if the child keeps his hand still. You can also wrap an elastic bandage to support the hand.

When the child injures the hand, it sometimes has to be anesthetized during treatment. Therefore, it is important that the baby does not eat before as there is otherwise a risk of being vomited during the anesthetic and that the contents of the stomach end up in the lungs and cause respiratory distress. If the child is not fasting, the waiting time is extended until the doctor can do something.

Although the baby should be fasting, you can give a non-prescription pain-relieving medication containing paracetamol, such as Alvedon or Panodil. The drugs are available in different forms and the dose is adjusted according to the child’s weight. There are instructions on the package. If you give your child tablets by mouth, rinse them only with a little water.

Difficult to prevent this type of damage

It is difficult to prevent fractures in the hand or fingers that occur when the child is playing. Slightly larger children, such as inline skating or snowboarding, can reduce the risk of injury by using protection.

Investigations and investigations

The doctor examining the child feels on his hand and fingers to examine where it hurts and if it is swollen. The child may also try to touch his fingers.

If the doctor suspects the skeleton is damaged, an X-ray examination is performed. Then the child may put his hand still on a special x-ray table. Then several x-rays are taken, partly when the child has the palm down and partly when they have the little finger side of the hand against the table. This way you get two pictures that show if the skeleton is damaged and if it has any defect. The doctor then decides which treatment is needed.

It doesn’t hurt to take x-rays. However, it can hurt when the doctor feels, bends or stretches his hand or fingers. As a parent or close relative, you may be present throughout the investigation, but you must put on a protective apron or leave the room when the X-rays are taken.

Sometimes it can be such a small crack in the skeleton that it does not appear on the X-ray. If the doctor still suspects that the bone is broken, the child is treated as if it were. After just over a week, the child may come back for a new examination and only then will the doctor continue or interrupt the treatment depending on what the other examination shows.

Treatment

Bone fractures in the hand and fingers usually heal by themselves, and therefore the doctor does not usually operate or correct the leg or finger bone. Most often it is enough for the child to get a bandage around his hand or finger. Sometimes the child gets a so-called twin joint, when the injured finger is wound so that it is supported by the finger next to it.

Minor misstatements usually do not cause lasting inconvenience. When the child grows, wrong positions are rectified and after half a year it is usually not possible to see any wrong position.

Sometimes the bone fracture needs to be corrected

If a bone in the finger is still so damaged that it needs to be corrected, the finger is often stunned with the help of local anesthesia. The child receives a syringe of anesthetic right where the finger begins. Two needle stitches are needed. It can hurt and it takes about 10 to 20 minutes before your finger is stunned. Thereafter, the error position is corrected, usually by the doctor pulling or pressing the hand or fingers.

The child sometimes has to be anesthetized

Smaller children get anesthesia if it hurts a lot or if a major surgery is required. When the child is anesthetized, the doctor, who is usually an orthopedic surgeon or a hand surgeon, can correct the wrong position at the injured place. Sometimes, but it is unusual, the doctor inserts a metal pin to keep the broken leg in the correct position

The operation ends with the child receiving a bandage

Finally, a bandage is placed around the hand or finger. The dressing can be anything from an elastic band to a plaster dressing. The purpose of this is to stabilize the hand or fingers, and sometimes hold a metal pin in place. When the doctor has to plaster or wrap two of the child’s fingers next to each other, a compress is applied between the fingers. In this way, skin is avoided against skin.

When the operation is complete and the child has received his bandage, he is driven into his bed to a so-called awakening department. There the child is allowed to lie down until they wake up properly, which can take up to a couple of hours. As a parent or relative, you can sit next to the bed during the time. Some children may feel unwell when they wake up.

Usually the child can go home the same day

Most often the child can go home from the hospital on the same day, but if it hurts a lot or if they have become dormant, it may be necessary to stay in the hospital for one night. The bone must be x-rayed after the plaster to make sure it is correct.

It is important that the arm is held high during the first few days so that it and the hand do not swell. Pay attention to whether the baby gets swollen or blue fingers. It is a sign that the arm is swollen and that the plaster is too tight. In the first instance, try a proper high position but it does not help, you should contact the emergency room or the health center where the child was treated.

The first few days after surgery, the child may feel uncomfortable and in pain. Then it may be good to give some form of pain reliever with paracetamol, for example Alvedon or Panodil. It is also good if the child tries to sleep with his hand on a pillow for the first nights.

The child may need to be home for a few days, depending on how serious the leg fracture has been and how bad they are.

The doctor sometimes needs to do a new X-ray examination after a week to see that the fracture is still in a good position.

The bone fracture heals

The healing of the broken bone in the hand or finger occurs through the formation of cartilage around the fracture of the bone. At first, it may feel like a hard lump, but the cartilage is converted within a year to normal bone tissue.

A bone fracture in the hand or fingers usually heals within about three weeks.

It can be hard to have plaster

Children may find it exciting to have plaster for a few days, but then it can be painful. After a while, for example, it may begin to itch under the plaster. The plaster also impedes mobility.

The dressing must be protected from water

Children who have plaster should not bathe. It is possible to shower, but the plaster must be protected from water because it is loosened by water. Dressings in the form of a plastic plaster are not destroyed by water, but the hydrogen stays inside the plaster and this makes the skin not feel well. There is a risk of fungal infection.

In pharmacies there are special plastic covers that can be used when the child is showering. You can also use a dense plastic bag.

If the plaster breaks

If the plaster breaks, it can be repaired or replaced. If there is a problem with the plaster, contact the place where the child was treated and received the plaster.

Some may find it nasty to remove the plaster

Some children may find it unpleasant to remove the plaster. If it is a plaster that surrounds the entire hand, the plaster must be cut with a special saw. It does not hurt, but can give a vibrating feeling and feel a little scary. The hand and fingers may feel unusually light after removing the plaster.

Most often, no exercise training is needed afterwards

Once the child has had the plaster or bandage removed, the doctor examines whether the hand or fingers appear to have healed, if more visits are needed, and for how long the child must refrain from sports.

The child may not always use the hand or fingers at one time when the plaster is removed. Usually, it usually takes some time before they get used to being without plaster and using the injured hand and fingers again. It is rare that a hand injury in children needs special training when the plaster is removed. Everyday movements such as dressing, eating and playing are usually enough for the strength and mobility to come back.

In case of finger injuries, some defects may remain and the finger may remain thicker for a long time. Such injuries are quite common and they may carry a less visible knuckle on the injured finger.

It usually takes about three to six weeks from the injury until the child can attend sports lessons at school again.

What happens in the body?

Bone fractures in the hand and fingers usually occur in the event of a severe shock to the hand when, for example, the child strikes the hand against a wall or receives himself in the event of a fall. The injury is also common if the child is engaged in sports.

There are several different bones in the hand. These are the wrist legs, the middle hands and the legs of the fingers.

Children receive injuries other than adults

Both children and adults can break bones in the hand and fingers in the event of an accident. But the growing child skeleton and the adult, ready-made skeleton receive different types of damage.

Some differences between children and adults:

  • The muscles attach to the skeleton with tendons. In children, the skeleton is softer and more porous than the tendon and tendon. Therefore, when children fall into an accident, the tendon or muscle does not break, but they more often suffer a skeletal injury than adults.
  • Because the skeleton is softer, children sometimes suffer injuries where the skeleton is not broken off as in adults, but only bent. These injuries are treated as common bone fractures.
  • As children grow, parts of the skeleton are softer and more porous than the other skeleton. Here the child can get displacements, so-called epiphysiolysis. These injuries are also treated as common bone fractures.
  • The child’s skeleton changes as it grows. Therefore, misalignments after leg fractures in the hand and fingers do not always need to be corrected or operated. In children, misalignments are corrected by themselves, while adults who have the same misalignments usually have to be treated.
  • Healing is much faster in children than in adults and therefore the treatment time is shorter.

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