Fracture treatment for children
Paediatric fractures of the foot and lower limb are common as children are more likely to take part in activities which can put them at increased risk of accidents and falls. The foot and ankle are often subject to greater forces and stress and therefore are more susceptible to certain types of fractures.
What is a fracture?
A fracture is a break in the bone which occurs when a force is applied to the bone which is stronger than what it can withstand structurally. While fractures which occur in adults usually require rather complex mechanical forces those that occur in the paediatric patient are often the result of comparatively simple injuries. This is due to the fact that childrens bones are softer then adult bones and therefore rapid treatment is important to ensure the area heals properly.
Fractures in children can cause various different problems. Injuries involving growth plates can cause disturbances in bone growth and activity may be limited for prolonged periods of time.
What are the causes of fractures in children?
The most common causes of fractures in children are:
Trauma - such as dropping a heavy implement on the foot
Falls - children are more prone to falls then adults as they take part in more activity
Stress fractures - stress fractures are the result of continual mechanical stresses rather than one direct force
What are the symptoms of a fracture?
The symptoms of a fracture are:
- Reduced function
- Foot deformity
- Increased pain on activity which decreases with rest
- Night pains
What podiatry treatments are available following a fracture?
The following podiatry treatments are available following a fracture;
- Advice and education on rest, rehabilitation and prevention of future injury
- Treatment of skin complaints ' a podiatrist will be able to treat any dry skin or callus that can sometimes form beneath a fracture plaster cast and recommend emollient therapy
- Footwear advice on specialised footwear or orthotics which may be required once the fracture has healed
- Strengthening exercises designed specifically for each child to help strengthen any weakened muscles in the affected area was the fracture has healed. This will work to prevent any further injury occurring in the future
What are the benefits of podiatry treatment following a paediatric fracture?
A podiatrist can provide your child with treatment during their fracture rehabilitation with the following benefits:
- Decreased pain
- Greater range of movement
- A quicker return to normal function
- Prevention of injury reoccurring
- Increased mobility and activity levels
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