Ask the Doctor

Buckle Fractures


Activity and play are critical to childhood development and fostering a healthy lifestyle.  An unfortunate side effect of play, is that children hurt themselves while doing so.  In other articles we’ve discussed bumps on the head and when to get stitches. In this article, Dr. Fish explains more about a common type of bone break (fracture) in children called a buckle fracture.


What is a buckle fracture?

What is a buckle fracture?

Kids’ bones are actually quite soft. Because of this, kids are more likely to break bones than adults. One type of broken bone that is common in children is called a buckle fracture.

A buckle fracture is where a bone (most commonly the bones in the lower part of the forearm — the radius and ulna) are compressed, typically in a fall. This compression causes a bulge in the bone, rather than a crack. About half of all childhood fractures are in the forearm, and most of these will be buckle fractures.



The Four Signs of a Buckle Fracture

Pain and/or swelling over a bone

Recent history of trauma or a fall

Site of suspected fracture shaped differently than the non-injured side

Pain when the areas above and below the site of pain are compressed together


Treating a buckle fracture

How is it treated?


A buckle fracture is typically treated with a soft wrist splint. For our littler patients, who seem to be especially good at wriggling out these types of things, we will occasionally need to place a hard cast. Treatment time is about 3 weeks.


Can we help?



On-Site X-Ray

At Pacific Crest Children’s, we offer on-site x-ray as well as fracture care for most common childhood fractures.  We offer a complete experience, from diagnosis to treatment.  In cases where an orthopedic surgeon visit is required, we have close relationships with area pediatric specialists and are able to perform initial stabilization and management as assist in out patient followup scheduling.