Occupational Therapy Can Help Your Child Recover From a Broken Bone

Occupational Therapy Can Help Your Child Recover From a Broken Bone

Occupational Therapy Can Help Your Child Recover From a Broken Bone

Did your son/daughter break their wrist from a fall playing sports or playing on the playground? Are you concerned about the persistent pain even though the cast/brace came off long ago? Our occupational therapists work with kids and adolescents who have broken their bones at Maximum Rehabilitation Services.

Almost half of all boys and one-third of all girls break a bone sometime during childhood. The most common areas are the wrist/forearm, elbow, shinbone, and ankle. A broken bone requires immediate medical attention to ensure proper healing and alignment of the bone.

Depending on the severity of the fracture, your bone will be set (reduced) manually or surgically. Ensuring the bone is set in the ideal position is essential for proper healing. Once it is set in the appropriate place, it will need to be stabilized/immobilized using a cast or, for some, a removable cast or splint.

Whether or not they had surgery to stabilize the fracture or were placed in a cast or splint, our occupational therapists can help them resolve their pain, restore their motion and strength and get back to doing what they love sooner than later!

If you are looking for someone to help your child restore mobility and function after they come out of a cast, our occupational therapists can help! Request an appointment today, so we can assess the situation and guide you to the best possible outcome for your child!

What are the most common causes of upper extremity fractures?

Broken bones are a common occurrence in healthy children, and fortunately, most fractures heal quickly, and the child gets back to being a kid. The most common reason for fractures in kids is related to falls, including a fall onto an outstretched arm or landing awkwardly on the playground.

There are some everyday activities associated with fractures in kids, including:

  • Sports like soccer, basketball, and baseball
  • Trampoline use
  • Skateboarding
  • Playing on a playground
  • Bicycling
  • Winter activities like snowboarding or ice skating

The most common area on the body that kids injure include:

  • Wrist and hand
  • Elbow
  • Upper arm bone (humerus)

For the most part, there is no cause for concern or the need for extensive therapy in most childhood fractures. Kids, in particular, usually heal quickly and get back to play.

There are, however, children with more severe injuries that need help. Unfortunately, there are also certain types of fractures, particularly those from seemingly mild injuries or children with multiple fractures; a specialist should evaluate that to ensure they don’t have an underlying medical condition that makes them more prone to fractures.

The main types of fractures that require an evaluation by a bone specialist include the following:

  • Low-impact fractures: These fractures result from an insignificant event, like falling from a standing height, falling off a chair, or stepping off a curb.
  • Recurrent fractures: Consider having a specialist examine your child’s bone health if they have two or more fractures before age ten or three or more fractures before age 19.
  • Humerus or femur fractures: These two bones usually do not break easily unless the injury is significant, like a car accident. An event less serious would warrant seeing a specialist.

Although most fractures in children heal rapidly and without complications, it can be constructive and reassuring to discuss what to look for and how to address any potential issue before it starts. This is where our Maximum Rehabilitation Services occupational therapist can help. We will assess the situation and guide you in ensuring your child has the best possible outcome!

What to expect from occupational therapy at Maximum Rehabilitation Services

Rehabilitation should start immediately if there are any complications after removing the cast. An occupational therapist with experience working with children and adolescents will conduct a thorough evaluation to determine the injury’s severity and identify any other weaknesses or limitations that may affect their recovery.

Next, your therapist at Maximum Rehabilitation Services will create a targeted, individualized plan of care for you to promote accelerated recovery and future injury prevention. There are a lot of considerations that need to be addressed to ensure a positive outcome after a fracture.

A “simple” fracture will usually heal well and have no long-term complications. But the more complex fractures are multifactorial, meaning they often need the skills of an occupational therapist to achieve optimal results.

Complex fractures have higher rates of improper or inadequate healing (i.e., malunion or nonunion), decreased joint function, nerve pain, and post-traumatic arthritis and tendinitis.

In addition, our occupational therapist can help your child deal with complications affecting function but not necessarily related to the healing of the bone. These complications include:

  • Protective behavior – fear of pain or another injury/fracture
  • Restrictions in motion – due to pain, soft tissue restrictions, and joint obstructions.
  • Weakness – due to immobilization or the use of a brace.
  • Persistent pain and swelling
  • Compensatory movements and functions that can potentially cause issues down the road

Regardless of the impairments, your occupational therapist will guide you through exercises designed to help your child return to their pre-injury abilities. We will start with pain management and restoring mobility to the injured area.

Next, we will focus on strengthening your strength and dynamic stability exercises to restore function and prevent future injuries. We will also incorporate coordination and fine motor activities to stimulate the nervous system and help ensure your child can reach, lift and grab small objects normally!

Request an appointment today!

If your child is recovering from a recent fracture and you want to ensure they recover fully, contact Maximum Rehabilitation Services and let our occupational therapists take a look. We will guide you through the most appropriate steps to resolve any issue!


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