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Buckle fracture of the wrist

Patient information A-Z

What is a buckle fracture?

Your child has suffered a ‘buckle’ fracture of their arm and wrist. It is the most common fracture in young children as the bone is still soft and flexible and tends to bend rather than break following an impact. This results in a bulge in the bone rather than a break.

X-ray showing a buckle fracture in the arm / wrist Synthetic soft cast on a wrist
X-ray showing a buckle fracture in the arm / wrist
Wrist x-ray
Synthetic soft cast on a wrist
Wrist cast

Buckle fractures can be treated with either a removable splint or a synthetic soft cast. Soft casts can be removed at home on a specified date by the parents / carers or by nurses in the clinic if you are unsure.

Non-urgent advice: You should

  • Give your child pain relief as needed in the early stages to help control the pain.
  • Encourage your child to keep moving their fingers to help prevent stiffness.

Non-urgent advice: Your child should not:

  • Take part in sports or rough and tumble play whilst wearing the splint or soft cast and for .......... weeks after removal.
  • Get the soft cast wet (if a cast has been applied). Waterproof protection for casts can be purchased from Limbo.

Soft casts can be removed at home by unwrapping the casting material. This usually requires two people, one person to hold the limb still, whilst the other person unpicks the end of the bandage and begins to unwrap the cast down to the gauze. We advise giving your child pain relief prior to removal of the cast as their arm and wrist will be stiff once it is removed.

Once the cast material has been removed, cut the gauze with scissors and remove.

Children who have been discharged with a removable splint should only remove this for bathing under supervision of their parents / carers.

The date for the removal of your child’s soft cast / splint is: ..............................................................

Please remember

Please contact your GP if your child’s condition is not improving, or if their pain relief is not adequate.

It is important that your child can always wiggle their fingers whilst in the cast and that they have full normal feeling in their fingers. If at any time they feel different you should try elevating the affected arm to reduce any swelling and help with altered feeling in the fingers. If this does not help within one hour, return with them to A&E to have the plaster / arm checked.

If you have any further questions, please contact the multi professional fracture clinic, call 01223 348299 or call 01223 257095.

For more information please visit Fracture Info (opens in a new tab).

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Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151