A buckle fracture is a very common fracture that primarily occurs among children because of their more flexible and softer bones. This injury is also commonly referred to as an incomplete fracture because a portion of the bone merely buckles instead of breaking, which means the other side of the bone should be perfectly fine while the fracture is healing. The main areas of the body affected by this condition include the arm and leg. The main symptoms of a buckle fracture include a substantial amount of acute pain, swelling, and bruising. The pain will usually worsen with movement or whenever pressure is placed on the area. Learn about how to treat buckle fractures now.
Immobilize The Injury
The most important element of treating a buckle fracture is to immobilize the injury, which will likely need to be done for three to four weeks. Keeping the injury immobilized should assist patients in avoiding further damage in the fractured bone. Immobilization typically occurs with the application of a cast or splint around the injured area of the body, which is typically the leg or arm. In general, buckle fractures are able to heal quicker than normal fractures because the bone isn't fully broken. The usage of a cast or splint will restrict motion in the general vicinity of the injury, which will reduce any muscle spasms, swelling, or pain patients are experiencing because of the injury. Both splints and casts have their distinct benefits for treating fractures. For instance, casts are harder and will keep the fractured bone almost completely immobilized, which means the area should heal quicker. Splints are more flexible and can be removed when taking a shower.
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Reduce The Fracture
When suffering from a buckle fracture, it's important to reduce the fracture if at all possible, which essentially means the bone should be set following the fracture. With standard fractures, it's important for the pieces of bone to be placed nearby one another so the bone can heal more efficiently. While a buckle fracture doesn't cause the bone to break into pieces, it's important the bone is set to its normal position following the fracture. This can be done via a closed reduction as opposed to an open one. In most cases, the hands are the only tools necessary to maneuver the bone into its proper location. If manual manipulation has proven to be somewhat ineffective at repositioning the bone, it's possible specialized instruments will be used to provide some force to the fractured bone, which makes the bone easier to adjust.
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Manage The Pain
Once the buckle fracture is immobilized, it's important to manage the pain. Immobilization should help with this, however, the pain associated with buckle fractures can be acute and severe in the days following the injury. Likely the most effective form of pain management is through the use of over-the-counter or prescription medications. As long as patients follow the instructions, they should be able to reduce the severity of their pain while the fracture is healing. Patients might also want to consider using hot and cold compresses to manage the pain. The application of heat and cold in short intervals should reduce inflammation, numb pain, and soothe the surrounding joints and muscles. If patients are seeing a physical therapist for the buckle fracture, they could also consider deep tissue massages as a means of relaxing the surrounding muscles, which should put the rest of their body at ease. When using ice, patients should make sure they avoid getting the cast or splint wet.
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Prolonged Rest Period
While a buckle fracture doesn't cause the bone to fully break, it's possible for the bone to do so if the fracture isn't handled well following the injury. It's important, then, to avoid moving the affected area as much as possible, which we have established immobilization can help with. A prolonged rest period should also assist in keeping inflammation at bay and making sure pain doesn't flare up often during the recovery process. The recovery process for a buckle fracture only lasts for up to eight weeks at most, which means patients should be able to return to normal physical activity in a short period. During recovery, patients should avoid performing strenuous exercises and any kind of manual labor.
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Elevate The Injured Area
In the immediate aftermath of a buckle fracture, patients will need to elevate the injured area for at least a few days. If the patient's arm has been injured, they should keep it resting on a desk or in a raised position as often as possible, and avoid letting their arm dangle by their side. Using a cast or splint should help patients keep the area elevated as well. As for an injured leg, patients will want to keep it propped up on a chair or stool if possible. When the fractured arm or leg is elevated, the blood in the area is able to more effectively flow back to the heart, which reduces the swelling and should lessen the pain you are currently experiencing. This is particularly important in the first twenty-four to forty-eight hours following the injury.