Activities like climbing trees or attempting to cross the monkey bars, are healthy child’s play and an essential part of development. But as with any physical activity, accidents can happen. Fractures around the elbow are usually caused when a child falls during this type of play and injures one of these three bones; the humerus (upper arm bone), radius or ulna (two bones of the forearm).
Unfortunately, elbow fractures often require surgery since:
- The fractured pieces are very separate from each other and would heal poorly if left in this position.
- The fracture crosses into the elbow joint and the bones need to be aligned as perfectly as possible to prevent future arthritis.
Diagnosing an elbow injury in young child can be complicated since their elbow joints are mainly cartilage, making injuries difficult to detect on an X-ray. Further complicating diagnosis, the elbow also has many growth centers that may be injured during a fall. These growth centers ossify (turn to bone) as a child grows and matures, making children’s elbow X-rays at different ages look very different.
Our orthopaedic team is specially trained to diagnose elbow injuries in children, and understands that caring for your child is different than caring for an adult. In fact, we treat more childhood fractures than anyone in the state of Georgia.