Greenstick fracture in children

Greenstick fracture in children

We love to see our kids playing and having fun, but sometimes this yummy show can turn into a nightmare when your child gets hurt. While normal bruises and other minor injuries can be treated effectively at home, however, if your child breaks the bone, he may need immediate medical attention. Greenstick fracture is very common in children, and if you’re interested in learning more, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about Greenstick fracture in Children and more.

What is a greenstick fracture?

Although the name may sound strange, greenstick fracture or green stick injury are very common in young children. In green bone fracture, the bone usually bends and develops a crack, but the bone does not break into two pieces. This is the exact same phenomenon that happens when you try to break a green stick, and that’s how this fracture gets its name. The green line fracture is also called a partial fracture.

Who is at risk for a greenstick fracture

Greenstick fractures are very common in children under the age of 10. These children in this age group have very soft and fragile bones, and the calcium they contain is more important. This makes their bones more prone to these kinds of fractures.

Types of green stick fractures

Here are the types of green stick fractures:

  • GreenStick CollarBone Fracture: When a child is exposed to a direct blow to their upper chest and shoulder or to their outstretched hand, they may suffer from a greenstick fracture of the collar bone. The collarbone bones get stronger around the age of 20, which means even teenagers can suffer such fractures.
  • GreenStick Wrist Fracture: This fracture occurs when a child falls from a height with outstretched hands to avoid injury and lands on their palm or receives a direct hit on their palm. The lower third or middle third of the radius or forearm bones break in a greenstick fracture of the wrist.
  • Green shin stick fracture: In a green shin fracture, the middle third or lower third of the shin shaft breaks. This can happen when a child receives a direct hit to their leg or lands from a height on their leg.


Just as other types of fractures occur, so does the Green Stick Fracture. A child may feel a strong knock or twist in their bones. Young children are found to love to play outdoors and enjoy doing various forms of physical activity, which makes them more prone to such injuries. However, the most common cause of this type of fracture is falling from a height, which usually happens due to playing many jumping games.

Symptoms of greenstick fracture

Here are some of the symptoms that can help you identify a greenstick fracture:

  • Pain
  • Redness, swelling, or the appearance of a bruise at the site of the fracture.
  • Deformity of the limbs can occur, in severe cases.
  • Decreased movement of joints or limbs to avoid pain.
  • These fractures are more common in the upper limbs than in the lower limbs.

However, sometimes your child may have trouble explaining the injury or its symptoms; It is important that you observe your child for any of the symptoms mentioned above and seek immediate medical attention.

How is the diagnosis made?

If your child experiences continuous pain in their limbs that does not go away after 2-3 days or if your child has reduced use of a particular limb or is unable to put pressure on or bend their joints , you should see a doctor immediately. Your doctor may perform tests to find out if he has a fracture. The doctor will:

  • Look for physical symptoms, such as swelling, tenderness, or deformity of the limbs.
  • Check for nerve damage.
  • May have your child move their fingers or other affected limbs to check for damage.
  • After examining all physical symptoms and performing physical tests, your doctor will ask you to undergo an x-ray of the green stick fracture or an x-ray.

How do you treat a broken greenstick?

A fracture involves a bending or twisting of the bones that your doctor can manually straighten out, called a closed reduction. Because this process is so painful, the doctor may give your child general anesthesia. Once the bone is in place, the doctor will put on a cast to hold the broken bone in place and realign the bone to its normal shape. Sometimes a splint can be used because the rupture is partial, which can be removed after healing.

Read Also: Hemiarthroplasty of the hip joint for hip fracture

What is the healing time of a broken green stick?

The average time for a Greenstick fracture to heal completely can take four to six weeks. However, it also depends on the severity of the fracture, so it can take anywhere from two to eight weeks for this type of fracture to heal.

What lifestyle changes need to be adopted

A child with a broken green stick may have difficulty going to school for three to four days. After the pain subsides, he may be allowed to go to school. However, if the fracture is present in his dominant hand, he will need help with basic daily activities.

How can you manage a broken green stick in your child?

A child is usually afraid of hurting themselves and a broken bone can be devastating for them. It is important that you provide the greatest emotional and physical support to your child at this point and help him cope with this situation. Your child may also refuse to wear a splint or cast because it may feel weird wearing something like this. Give a valid explanation and let your child know how important this is for their speedy recovery. Take your child for regular check-ups to keep an eye on their recovery.

How to prevent a greenstick fracture

As discussed above, greenstick fracture in a child is very common. However, there are a few things you can do as a parent to prevent your child from breaking the Green Stick:

  • Explain the importance of safety to your child and let them know how serious injuries can be caused by violence.
  • Tell your child to play on a soft surface. Playing on a soft surface can provide protection against severe impact on the bones.
  • If your child participates in a strenuous sport or activity, make sure they are wearing appropriate safety gear or equipment.
  • Watch your little one when they play outside. Keeping an eye on your children helps protect your child from various types of injuries and incidents.

However, no matter how vigilant you are as a parent, sometimes the inevitable happens and your child may fall and succumb to serious injuries such as broken bones. It is recommended to pay attention to your child’s symptoms and act quickly in such situations and consult a doctor. Also, keep in mind that your child’s bones are very flexible and they are also repaired without too much trouble. Equally important for good bone health is regular supplementation of calcium, magnesium, and vitamin C and D.

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