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Dear Doctor

June 2020


My son fell off his bike over Memorial Day weekend and fractured his elbow (not sure the name of the bone). He had a soft cast on and currently has a hard cast. We brought him to the hospital of special surgeries in manhattan NYC and the doctor there went over his x-rays and suggested he get surgery using pins as his bone seemed displaced. He is only 5.5 years old and hate the thought of him having surgery at this young age. I am attaching x-rays of his arm and was curious to get a second opinion. 

- (Parent)


Thank you for your question regarding your son's elbow. Most fractures like this often need pin fixation to maintain the bone position and decrease complications related to swelling. Your son's elbow fracture though is on the borderline of needing some pins, and more surgeons are treating this fracture type with casting alone, especially given his age. I would recommend cast treatment for this and it will heal in 3 to 4 weeks, with follow-up at a year to make sure fully remodeled. To be sure of this, the safest plan is to cast him and then have a repeat xray taken within 2 weeks of his injury date. In my hands, I would place him in a cast. I hope this helps!

- (Parent)