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External Fixation for Leg Fractures in Children
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
External fixation of a leg fracture is surgery to repair your child's broken leg.
- Medicines can help to decrease your child's pain or prevent a bacterial infection. Ask how to safely give prescription pain medicine to your child.
- Do not give aspirin to children under 18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.
- Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:
Ask your child's healthcare provider when your child needs to return to have the pins removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Your child may need crutches while his fracture heals. Your child's healthcare provider may teach your child how to use crutches.
How to care for the pin sites:
The pin sites are the areas of skin where the pins were inserted. To prevent infection in the pin sites, do the following:
- Check the skin around the pins every day.
- Clean the skin around the pins with hydrogen peroxide and a sterile solution twice a day. Your child's healthcare provider will tell you when to stop using hydrogen peroxide.
- Ask your child's healthcare provider when it is okay to get the pin sites wet while bathing
A physical therapist may teach your child exercises to help improve movement and strength and to decrease pain.
Contact your child's healthcare provider if:
- Your child has a fever.
- Your child has chills, a cough, or feels weak and achy.
- Your child is irritable and crying more than usual.
- Your child's skin is itchy, swollen, or has a rash.
- There is a bad smell from your child's leg.
- You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You notice that the frame or pins are loose or move more than usual.
- Your child's toes look pale or blue, and feel cold, numb, or tingly.
- Blood soaks through your child's bandages .
- Your child has sudden shortness of breath.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.