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Supracondylar fractures

Patient information A-Z

What is a supracondylar fracture?

Your child has a fracture just above the elbow.

This type of fracture is one of the most common fractures in children. It occurs at the elbow in the lower end of the upper arm, usually from falling onto an outstretched hand.

X-ray showing a supracondylar fracture of the left arm
Supracondylar Fracture

Your child’s arm will be placed into a temporary plaster cast, supported by a collar and cuff.

Swelling and bruising at the fracture site is normal. Simple, over the counter pain killers and applying ice to the area will help to reduce swelling and pain.

You should:

  • give simple over-the-counter pain relief as needed.
  • encourage your child to keep wiggling their fingers to prevent stiffness.

You should not:

  • stick anything down the cast.
  • miss your child’s appointment with the consultant.

At your child’s appointment, their elbow will be x-rayed again to check the position of the fracture.

The consultant will then discuss further options for managing your child’s injury at this appointment.

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

It is important that you make sure your child can always wiggle their fingers whilst in this plaster and that they have full sensation in their fingers. If at any time they lose sensation or movement of their fingers you should immediately return to A&E with them to have the plaster checked.

If their condition is worsening please contact the multi professional fracture clinic, call 01223 348299 or call 01223 257095.

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

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Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151