Buckle fractures of the distal radius

Buckle fractures of the distal radius

Your child has fracture of a bone in the wrist called  the radius. The type of fracture is called a ‘buckle fracture’ where the bone bends and only partially breaks. It is common in children.

Why does my child need to wear a splint?

The specific type of fracture that your child has does not need to be treated in a plaster cast. Instead, wearing a wrist splint will help to reduce pain and keep the wrist in a comfortable position.

How long should the splint stay on for?

The splint needs to be worn for 3 weeks during the day and the night, then you can remove it. The nurses will show you how to apply the splint so that it fits well but so that it is not too tight.

Can the splint be removed for washing?

The splint can be removed to allow your child to wash. It is important that the skin is thoroughly dried before the splint is put back on.

When can my child return to sporting activities?

Your child can go to school but must not take part in any sporting activities, rough play or PE (physical education) for a total of 6 weeks; 3 weeks whilst the splint is on, and for a further 3 weeks after it is removed. You can then allow your child to return to these activities.

Will it be painful?

The injury can be very painful at first. Pain relief like paracetamol and ibuprofen should be given if needed. The splint will help to keep the wrist in a comfortable position.

Are there any other symptoms to look out for?

The wrist may become swollen and bruised and this will gradually settle as healing takes place.

Please return to the Emergency Department for advice, if you are concerned about any of:

  • severe swelling
  • uncontrollable pain
  • abnormal movement of your child’s fingers
  • or if the fingers are very pale and cold compared to the other side

Do we return for an appointment?

We know that 99% of these fractures heal without any problems and so we do not make routine follow up appointments. If you have any concerns then please see your GP or return to the Emergency Department for advice.

Reviewed by Dr L Sabir in February 2023, next review in February 2025. 

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Source URL: https://www.barnsleyhospital.nhs.uk/services/a-and-e/buckle-fractures

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