What could happen if my toddler's spiral fracture is left untreated?

(March 12, 2010)

A toddler fracture is a fairly common kind of fracture that most toddlers and even preschoolers get. It occurs possibly when the toddler is running and loses his balance or when they step on some object or toy lying on the floor which causes them to lose their footing. A sudden twisting or severe wrenching of the tibia or the shin bone can cause a fracture to occur in the spiral pattern. These are known to be actually quite hard and difficult to spot on an x-ray unless the angle is right or even in spite of the angle of view being right. A bone scan alternatively may be required to show the toddler’s fracture. Eventually this fracture site will possibly be visible only when the healing process starts off and the fresh bone is thus created for the purpose of repairing the fracture.

Symptoms that one can expect include mild to severe pain, the toddler’s refusal to walk especially not putting any kind of weight on the injured limb, minor swelling over the fracture or warmth around the fracture area, and pain when the area around the fracture is touched or pressed. A long-leg type of cast is applied by the doctor to help relieve these symptoms. Healing can be a rapid process, occurring within 3 to 4 weeks of the cast being put.

A fracture will probably heal no matter what is done to it. The main question to find out is whether or not the style of healing may lead to a deformity. This may occur especially if the toddler’s spiral fracture is left untreated. The result may be that the child may be in excruciating pain while walking or putting weight on the limb. The child may develop a limb for life which can be uncomfortable and a distressing situation to live with.  The leg may heal but it may end up with the foot pointing to either the left or the right direction when the child starts to walk. If that is what where to happen, the solution to rectify the problem would be having to do surgery to help correct the problem involves putting in a couple of pins or even an external fixator which will help to correct the deformity. Hence the first thing to do when you notice your child either limping or showing some signs of a strain or sprain, is to immediately take the child to a doctor and have it checked.

Submitted by P T on March 12, 2010 at 01:15

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