Buckle fracture is a condition where the topmost layer of a bone is compressed. And it causes the other side of the bone to bend away from the growth plate. In buckle fractures, the broken pieces of bone have not separated apart (non-displaced fracture).
Buckle fractures typically occur to children. Their bones are still soft and elastic that instead of breaking, the bones are just bent away when compressed with a force. A simple buckle fracture may be caused by axial force on immature bones. Children with buckle fracture typically heal well with no complications after the recovery.
Casting to Treat the Buckle Fractures
Options for medical treatments to heal buckle fractures are varied, including casting, splinting and surgery. Casting is the most common medical treatment since it provides several advantages. A cast is basically wide, stiff gauze that protects a bone from moving throughout the healing process. It keeps the injured area from infection and limiting mobilization, thus making the healing process faster.
A cast mostly has two layers—a soft layer and a hard layer. The soft layer of padding lies alongside the skin, and the stiff outer coating keeps the bone. The inside layer is nearly always made out of cotton, but sometimes a cast may have a particular waterproof lining. The stiff outside covering is made of either plaster or fiberglass.
Once the inflammation has gone down, a cast is normally put on by an orthopedist, an expert doctor who specifies in the care of bones. Casts may also be put on by emergency room doctors, surgeon assistants, orthopedic specialists, or by nurse practitioners.
How Long Do Patients Need to Put on the Cast?
In most cases, a kid who has a buckle fracture will need a cast to keep the bone still while it is healing. Varying in the age of the kid and the type of fracture, a cast can be worn for 4 to 10 weeks. The healing process may take longer in some patients, depending on age, fracture conditions, and the bones affected.
In normal cases, the younger the age, the faster the recovery. Kids who wear a cast can heal their injuries in a couple of weeks, whereas adults take a couple of months to heal their injuries with cast. It means that a kid heals in about half of the time it takes an adult to heal from a comparable injury.
Is Casting Painful for Children?
Patients with buckle fractures who wear casting rarely complain about pain. The casting itself serves to prevent further injuries and to keep the fractured in contact with foreign objects.
However, the first few days in the cast are frequently the most challenging time, especially for children. The area near the fracture is possibly still tender and inflamed. To deal with this, the doctor may prescribe a painkiller such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or mefenamic acid to help relieve the pain. A kid with gastritic should not consume mefenamic acid and ibuprofen since those two painkillers are reactive to gastric acid.
When Can the Cast be Taken Off?
Several weeks after wearing a cast, the bone will most likely have completely healed. At this point, the cast can be removed. The cast is taken off using a small electrical saw. Even though this saw may seem and sound terrifying to a kid, the removing process is in fact very quick and painless.
The saw is not so sharp. It has a thick, rounded edge that shakes from side to side. This vibration can cut up the case made from fiberglass or plaster cast without hurting the skin.
Can Parents Remove the Cast by Themselves?
Unless the parents are doctors, the answer is NO. Do not try to take off the cast on your own. Although the cast is removed, the wounded area will perhaps look and feel unusual to the kid. The skin can be pale, dry, and the hair will look darker.
In addition, the muscles in the surrounding area will seem smaller. All of these symptoms are temporary. They will go away along with several particular exercises suggested by the doctor or physical therapist.