As summer approaches, kids are out of school and activity levels are high. While it’s fun to play in the sun, kids suffering from bone injuries are coming in to see doctors at Banner Churchill Community Hospital.
Dr. Richard Davis, orthopedic surgeon at Banner Churchill’s Banner Health Clinic, said they’re seeing a lot of kids between 5 and 10 years of age coming in with various arm and knee injuries.
“They’re on the monkey bars or the jungle gym, and they land on their wrist and break their elbow,” said Davis.
He said they see more knee injuries and some shoulder injuries with older kids because of football practice that typically starts in the second half of the summer. Also, summer recreation is big in Fallon, and he says they see a lot of bone injuries because of motorcycle and bicycle accidents.
Davis said that with children, it can be difficult to diagnose a bone injury because fractures are not always visible to the eye, and children or their parents don’t know if a fracture has occurred until they’ve had an x-ray.
According to Davis, if a child is injured while playing, signs they may be suffering from a broken bone include pain is immediate, there is a point of tenderness, swelling, trouble sleeping and pain that doesn’t go away overnight.
“While a sprain is generally sore, a fracture is very painful,” said Davis, “Delayed pain is usually a soft tissue injury.”
While some severe elbow injuries may require surgery, Davis said the majority of fractures can be treated with a cast.
If you suspect your child may be suffering from a broken bone, Davis recommends that you try to keep the child as calm as possible and the injury free from movement. If it’s a severe break, Davis recommends you call 911 immediately so that emergency workers can stabilize the child and get them to the doctor as soon as possible.
“Kids are great to work with. They have two speeds, stop and go. When they’re hurt, they stop - when not, they go,” said Davis.
Typically, a broken bone takes about four to six weeks to heal and Davis points out that the younger the patient, the quicker the healing process. He said, “Kids still heal faster than adults. The young kids heal the quickest.”
The Banner Health Clinic for Orthopedics is located at 801 E. Williams Ave, Suite 3301.
For information, call 775-867-7757