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Elbow Fracture In Children

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:

An elbow fracture is a break in one or more of the bones that form your child's elbow joint. Your child may also have a Salter-Harris fracture, which is when a bone breaks through a growth plate.

CARE AGREEMENT:

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's caregivers to decide what care you want for your child.

RISKS:

Your child may get an infection or bleed more than expected during surgery. Even after treatment, your child's elbow may not go back to the way it was before it was injured. Your child may have trouble doing his usual activities again, including sports. Without treatment, the injured elbow may not heal correctly. This may limit how much your child can use his arm.

WHILE YOU ARE HERE:

Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that your child may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your child's medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done to your child. Make sure all of your questions are answered.

Emotional support:

Stay with your child for comfort and support as often as possible while he is in the hospital. Ask another family member or someone close to the family to stay with your child when you cannot be there. Bring items from home that will comfort your child, such as a favorite blanket or toy.

Medicines:

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help prevent or treat an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Pain medicine: Your child may be given a prescription medicine to decrease pain. Watch for signs of pain in your child. Tell caregivers if his pain continues or gets worse.
  • Tetanus shot: Your child may need a tetanus shot if he has breaks in his skin from the injury. A tetanus shot is medicine to prevent your child from getting tetanus. Tetanus is a serious infection that can happen after any break in the skin. The shot is normally given into the arm.

Treatment:

  • Devices: A splint or cast with a sling may be put on your child's elbow and arm. These devices hold the broken bones in place while they heal. They may help decrease pain and prevent more damage to the broken bones.
  • Surgery: Your child may need surgery if his bones are out of place. Surgery helps return bones to their normal position by putting them together with pins, wires, or screws. Surgery may also be done if your child has other injuries, such as nerve or blood vessel damage. Ask your child's caregiver for more information about surgery to treat your child's elbow fracture.

© 2016 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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