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Child has continuous pain in the hand since fall. Could it be hairline fracture?

About 5 days ago I took my 18 month old son in to a pediatric urgent care. He fell as he was trying to get out of his toy car. He was holding his wrist and seemed to be in great pain. When I took him in, and he eventually high fived the doctor with that hand, he didn t feel a need for x rays. However, he continues to have pain when being put in his car seat, getting a shirt on and opening up a drawer. He favors the other hand still, but uses the injured hand or arm a bit. I am worried that the pain hasn t eased up and that he didn t have the xray . Could he have a hairline fracture? He was sent home with no bandage or cast. Not sure if it is his wrist, or elbow though, because it seems lifting it at a 90 degree angle is most painful.
Asked On : Fri, 21 Dec 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  20
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement 's  Response
Jul 2013
Hi, thanks for writing to HCM. By your description, it seems nothing serious or nothing to panic. Generally, at the age of 18 months majority of the small bones (carpal bones) at the wrist are cartilagenous and they wont show up on xrays. This might be the reason why the attending doctor has not ordered for an xray. As your son is using his injured hand ocassionally, it rules out any major fracture.
Even if a minor hair line fracture is present, it heals without any issues as children will have excellent osteogenic (bone forming) potential and it heals within 3 weeks. Hope this alleviates the anxiety in you. Have a great day
Answered: Wed, 19 Jun 2013
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