Two words: Buckle fracture

No one said life would be perfect. Nor did they say it would be easy. Lastly, we weren’t promised quiet–especially since there are six little (and not-so-little) ones running around here! Although it has eluded us for the first 12+ years of parenting, we can add “broken bone” to our list of things we’ve had to deal with.

Last Thursday night, right after I had finished teaching my class and had seen my couples off for another week, I set to the work of putting the kids to bed. Todd was still gone to the auto auction (a post for a later time), so the kids conveniently had “forgotten” their bedtime and were all up when class was over. Not a big deal since we’re on ‘summer hours’ and sleeping in would be a welcome change. I sent everyone to bed after we prayed and put Chloe in her crib. She’d been tempting fate for a few weeks every so often by swinging one leg over the side of her crib and fussing about wanting to climb out, but she never had gone through with it. Tonight, however, she felt she could fly and crawled out. She learned a tiny bit about gravity, though, and landed on her arm (or so she said after we ran in there when she started howling). I’m guessing she tried to catch herself with her right hand when she fell.

As you can imagine, cries of pain ensued for quite some time, but after careful inspection by my not-medically-trained eye and hand, I couldn’t see any obvious deformity nor could I see any swelling or bruising. She was still holding her arm when Todd got home, but after crying on his shoulder for a bit, she quieted down and seemed ready to go to bed.

She slept all night and didn’t complain about it throughout the day. I asked my nurse-friend what she thought about it, and Becky gave me suggestions for little tests I could ask her to do to assess somewhat. Later that evening, we were at the aforementioned friend’s house and when Chloe did those tests, she recoiled a bit and said that they hurt. We also noticed a wee bit of swelling around her wrist. Becky suggested we have her looked at by her pediatrician. OF COURSE children don’t have accidents or get sick in this house until 4:55pm on Friday evening, though, so Todd and I decided to call her doc on Monday morning.

The rest of the weekend we didn’t see any real change in her wrist; it seemed to get neither better nor worse. On Monday, Chloe’s pediatrician suggested we take her to the ER since the wait to get an appointment for an orthopedic surgeon could be several days, and since we’d already waited a few, she felt it was best to get moving on finding out if it was truly injured or not.

We went to the UK Emergency Room and I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly-moving the entire process was. We didn’t wait in the waiting room for longer than ten minutes, didn’t wait at all in triage, and waited very little time between initial assessment and x-rays. After talking to two different doctors, they thought it would be best to do an x-ray, even though Chloe wasn’t howling when they inspected her arm and was able to use her hand pretty well. Basically she didn’t like it to be pulled on and she didn’t want to put any weight on it. During the entire time we were at UK, she acted very reserved and quiet. She just barely answered their questions, and didn’t protest at all when they had her sit still for x-rays and putting on the cast.

After the x-rays were done, the very understanding attending physician (who had two kids of her own) told me that Chloe had what was termed a buckle fracture–the bone didn’t actually break, but bent (much like a green twig would bend when pushed, but not snap in two). The verdict: Chloe would have to have a cast, first a temporary one, which they put on today and the one she’s wearing in the photo, and then the hard cast she’ll get later this week.

So far she’s been OK with it, although about twenty minutes after they put it on, she was asking me to take it off. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we get the hard one put on so that there’s no chance of her taking it off. What this means to our plan of swimming and soaking in the rays of summer I haven’t figured out quite yet, but I’m sure the orthopedic surgeon will have most of my answers.

Welcome, summer.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Karen
    Jun 22, 2010 @ 17:33:02

    Poor Chloe! And at the beginning of Summer!

    Victoria broke her leg just a week shy of turning 2 years old and that was at the beginning of summer also! She had a big, pink, full leg cast! fun Times!

    Kids make life interesting don’t they?



  2. Maria Kenney
    Jun 23, 2010 @ 13:29:02

    I think it was Dr. Spock who said, “If your child hasn’t had a broken bone by the time they’re 18, they’ve probably been overprotected.” Chloe just wanted to get you guys caught up!!


  3. Trackback: Day 3 of 31: What just happened?! | Mom2the6pack

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