What is Greenstick fracture?
A bone breaks when it bends, usually at a young age because the bone is soft at that age. This fracture is known as a greenstick fracture. The babies in their infancy stage have soft bones, and during this period of childhood, greenstick fracture mainly occurs because of soft and least mature bones. The name greenstick fracture is similar to greenwood, which means fresh wood. It is because greenwood can break when it is bent.
What type of fracture is Greenstick fracture?
When a soft bone cracks by bending instead of falling into pieces, this type of occurrence is called a greenstick fracture. When a person tries to break a small branch on a tree by bending it, it looks similar to the fracture, which refers to a greenstick fracture. Children have fewer brittle bones than adults, so they are more likely to have a greenstick fracture.
Greenstick fracture type:
The greenstick fracture is commonly seen in children, usually less than ten years of children.
In this type of fracture, long bones are fractured or cracked but not fully fractured, so this fracture is called a greenstick fracture. A greenstick fracture most often affects the forearm and lower leg. They are clear from torus fractures.
Is a greenstick fracture common?
Greenstick fracture is prevalent. Every year many children are affected by this fracture. In the United States, each year, more millions of children are affected by this fracture. This fracture often occurs when a child plays or jumps or uses arms or legs, tries to do different falls, or usually tries to break the fall using an arm.
Examples of greenstick fracture:
long bones like legs and forearms cracks are the common examples of greenstick fracture. It usually occurs while playing or taking part in sports or cycling by a child because they are not used to it.
Risk for a greenstick fracture:
The bones of infants and children are very soft as that age is their growing age, so any force applied to them can result in harmful effects, so the greenstick fracture rate is high at a young age, less than ten years. It was found by the studies of malnutritions that by the deficiency of Vitamin D, the risk of having a greenstick fracture usually increases in long bones such as forearms and legs of infants and children under ten years.
Causes of greenstick fractures:
The greenstick fracture is caused by accidents, by taking part in sports or gymnastics, by falling while cycling or riding a bike or any other vehicle.
Another cause of greenstick fracture is falling from stairs as children in their early childhood do not know how to protect themselves by avoiding dangerous ways. Hence, they keep on crawling and fall from stairs, resulting in cracking in bones, and consequently a greenstick fracture.
Symptoms of greenstick fracture:
A greenstick fracture signifies that a baby can not bear the pain, so they will cry as it is a pediatric problem and is not bearable by infants or children; however, an older child can bear it.
The symptoms of a greenstick fracture depend on the extreme or dreadful pain of the crack. Many symptoms are included in the greenstick fracture. Following are some common symptoms of a greenstick fracture:
- Blemish or discolor of the affected area
- Swelling of the affected area
- Deformation at the affected body part
Diagnostic of the greenstick fractures:
A doctor can do a diagnostic of the greenstick fractures at the clinic. The doctor can ask questions such as how this injury has occurred or do a physical examination or an X-ray of the affected part. Pain or swelling can also help the doctor to inspect the injured area of the body.
As children cannot explain their pain, two scans are mainly done to confirm greenstick fracture. These two scans include CT (COMPUTED TOMOGRAPHY) SCAN and MRI (MAGNETIC RESONANCE) SCAN.
Many other injuries can rule out by doing these tests, which are most likely to occur by significant trauma. It is generally preferable to do a projectional radiography.
What is the treatment for a Greenstick fracture?
Immobilizing the bone is the typical treatment of a greenstick fracture. In this treatment, bone is kept on moving with a cast or a splint. Four to six weeks is the standard time for casts to remain in a specific place. The doctor gives acetaminophen (Tylenol) to the patient. Also, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID) to reduce the severe pain. These medications include ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve). These all are registered.
There are many serious issues with the bones as sometimes surgeries are needed to do. To realign the bone, it is necessary to surgery. Metal rode, or metal plate with screws, are used to insert into the bone to maintain the alignment of the bone, which is disturbed by fracture. This process is done at the time of healing. After healing, these rods and plates are removed, and in some cases, these rods or plates remain inside permanently.
Complications associated with the greenstick fractures:
No more complications mainly occur in the greenstick fractures, but these complications can include the following:
- Bleeding from the affected area
- Infection on the specific part of the body which is injured
- Injury in nerve or vascular(blood vessel)
- Malunion( deformation of an affected body part that remains permanent even after the treatment is completed)
Prevention of greenstick fracture:
Appropriate safety is required to lower the risk of a greenstick fracture, as it can be dangerous sometimes. There should be provided proper safety measures against playing pieces of equipment. Prevent children from falling by making boundaries to every side especially make a door before stairs.
Outlook for patients after the treatment of a greenstick fracture:
Most children or people recover fully after the treatment of greenstick fractures. Immediately treatment should be given to the patient by a doctor after this type of fracture to recover fully to avoid pain and swelling in the affected bone.
Paleopathologist (old injuries and diseases specialists) studies found the evidence or proof for the greenstick fractures in the fossil record means the history of organic remains. The remains of a giant carnivorous dinosaur, Allosaurus fragilis, were found, and it is reported that a greenstick fracture was first found in the remains of that animal. Other fossil remains are also found. Lucy is another animal, and a greenstick fracture was also found in the fossil remains of Lucy.
There was the most famous specimen of Australopithecus afarensis, and he discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 the fossil remains having the greenstick fractures. Many patterns of bone fractures were discovered and named the greenstick fractures, and these include forearms, lower limbs, pelvis, skull and thorax, and many other patterns. It was reported by someone that Lucy died by impacting the ground by vertical fall.
Healing of greenstick fracture on its own:
The greenstick fracture can heal on time as it can be managed efficiently by itself. Many doctors give many suggestions for healing the greenstick fracture soon itself. Once Dr. Kuivila said that the greenhouse fracture is prevalent in children because children have growing bones and these bones are soft. Still, the fracture heals very quickly that in one year, there will be no mark left behind because the fracture remodels itself correctly, and an X-ray, there is no evidence or proof will be shown.
Greenstrict fracture is a crack or fracture without breaking the bone into two pieces. It usually occurs in children, often in early childhood when the bones of babies are soft. A researcher also reported that the greenstick fractures could heal quickly without a cast but not in every case. Many cases have bones injured very badly, so if without using a cast, a bone is treated, the bone will heal improperly or start pain again, so healing with a cast is necessary in many cases.
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