Forearm fractures are common in childhood, making up more than 40% of all childhood fractures. The forearm is made up of two bones, the radius and the ulna. The radius is on the “thumb side” while the ulna is on the “pinky finger side.” Fractures can occur in one or both of the bones and commonly occur on the playground or while playing sports.
There are several types of forearm fractures in children:
- Torus (buckle) fracture
- Metaphyseal fracture
- Greenstick fracture
- Galeazzi fracture
- Monteggia fracture
- Growth plate (physeal) fracture
A child’s bones heal more quickly than an adult’s, so it is very important that a fracture be treated promptly and correctly to avoid future problems. Even if initial treatment has been received at an urgent care or emergency room, it is important to follow-up with an orthopedist as soon as possible (less than a week after the injury occurred). Prompt attention is especially important in a displaced fracture or one that involves the growth plate.