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Question of the Month

January 2017


Question:

My 30 month old daughter fell from around 17 feet high and had a (L) femur fracture around 1 month ago. Doctors put her on traction for 2 days and then put a Spica cast on her, but after three weeks we repeated the X-ray and that showed that the bones are overlapped more than they had at the time of accident, and the fractured bones are away from each other. Can you please suggest what we must do so that she can recover quickly?

- Imtiyaz-India (Parent)


Answer:

I am sorry to hear about your daughter's accident, and wish her a speedy recovery. The good news is that very young children heal up femur fractures very well. A growing child's body knows that there is a fracture and automatically adjusts growth to smooth and straighten out the bones. Even if the bone heals in a displaced and crooked position, the bone will straighten out over the next six to twelve months naturally. Long term problems are rare. She may limp for the first several weeks or months while the bone is trying to straighten out, but this should go away with time. The best way to speed her recovery is to let her go back to her normal activities when your doctor says her bone is healed. The best therapy for femur fractures in children is normal active play.

- Jon Oda, MD


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