walking with a fracture?

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Hi, I am in need of some help.  

My 4yr old son had an accident at school, another child pushed him over and he fell onto some toys.  I do not know the complete details because nobody saw it happen (or told me about it) but he came out that afternoon limping and saying he had a poorly leg.  He has no swelling or bruising but is quite a bit of pain and is walking on it though very obviously not normally. Any longer than about 10 steps and he asks to be carried, and he struggles more outdoors.

Yesterday I took him to A&E, they looked at it and as he was walking on it said it was probably soft tissue damage.

He is still limping today, and the pain seems to be more localised to the outer part of the lower leg, about a third of the way down the leg.  He is also (though clearly in pain) playing it down, I think he has had enough of being fussed over and is up for a quiet life, but his mood has been terrible and he is very irritable.

What I would like to know is, myself not having had a fracture of any kind I do not know what it feels like.  Is there any way he could be walking with a mild fracture?  I can't help thinking there is more to it, mothers instinct!

The hospital have said if he is still limping by next Saturday to take him back.

Many thanks.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi

    I might be able to help you in two ways.  The first way is about whether anyone can walk with a fractured leg - NO!  I know it's a bit different because I am 68 and your son is 4 but at the end of April I broke my femur into two pieces and there was absolutely no way I could have walked on it.  The second thing is that my son who is now 40 had an accident at about  2years old and he did break his lower leg.  The puzzling thing was that when we took him to A&E they didn't bother to x-ray it but said that they would just strap it up and he would walk on it when he felt able.  We got him home and of course, being a young child he wanted to get up and walk about.  CRASH, SCREAM etc. I expect you get the idea.  We took him back to A&E and this time they took an x-Ray and confirmed that he had actually broken his leg, something we had guessed anyway.  It was put in plaster and a few weeks later he was back to normal.  

    I think that it would be highly unlikely that your son could break his leg just by falling on some toys. (My son had a swinging garden hammock hit him very hard across his legs, swung by his lovely young cousin!!!). I know from my broken femur experience that bruising can be very painful and didn't show itself up for several days and then what a huge one it was!  It expect he would be a bit grumpy if he is in pain so maybe it's him wanting to be left to get on with it without too much fuss.  Perhaps you could keep an eye on him and see if he "forgets" about the pain when he's concentrating on something interesting.  If he was in pain from a broken leg he would be more immobile than he probably is.  IF you do find out that he has a broken leg, from my experience, you won't get any information on how much he should be walking on it.  I eventually found out that the more you walk the quicker it heals which is why I have recently been told that after six months it is entirely healed.  Hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      Thank you very much for your reply.  I will keep an eye in him over the next week and see how he gets on.  He is a typical boy and wants to carry on as normal and I suspect he is getting completely frustrated at being limited in what he can do comfortably!  

      I've always worried about bones, more so since my eldest daughter broke her wrist at 3years old and had no symptoms and didn't even moan about any pain until 4 days later when I applied pressure in holding her whilst applying sun cream, the way she flinched made me suspicious enough to get an x ray, and so it was broken and had moved out of alignment.  But legs, unlike arms, are something that you need to use and can't hide!

      Thanks again.

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    • Posted

      can i please point out your fact's ( The first way is about whether anyone can walk with a fractured leg - NO! ) please get your fact's right as yes you can walk on a fractured leg my 2 year old did it and not only has he done it i have also walked on a fracture and a friend of mine broke his leg playing football and walked of and even drove 40 mile back home before taken him self off to hospital so there you go yes you can walk on a fracture 
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    • Posted

      I'm sorry to say this, but the whole you can't walk on a fractured leg thing is wrong. A couple of years ago I was playing for my varsity girls lacrosse team as a goalie and took a really hard hit to my shin (I had crappy shin guards). The spot was a little puffy but was not bruised  so my coach sent in the other goalie while I iced my shin. After the first half ended our other goalie was injured and could not play. I did not want our team to have to forfeit so I went out. I RAN in full gear and played the rest of the game. After the game I noticed in my moms car that the swelling had gotten worse and there was a little bruising. So we went to the hospital and guess what showed up on the x Ray? I had what's called a stable fracture in my shin. So, if I can run with about 10lbs of gear, in cleats, in the mud with a fractured shin I'm pretty sure you can walk on one

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  • Posted

    I am amazed the hospital didn't xray the little chap's leg. This could indeed be a fracture and if so, should be taken care of without delay. Waiting for another week is stupid as the pain he has means something IS wrong. Don't delay. Demand an xray immediately as if he has a little fractures bone he is in agony and it ought not be just left without attention.  Good luck.  Poor little lad.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply.  I know they always want to be very certain of a break before they x ray, plus 6 weeks ago he was in with a suspected broken foot (trod on the football as he went to kick it!) which they x rayed.  I felt like a bad parent taking him in again!

      I was a bit mean and gave the troublesome area a little squeeze while he was sleeping and he flinched so I'm thinking it is either a bad muscle injury which they said should have significantly improved by the weekend, or it is a very small break.  If he is still limping at the end of the week I will take him in and insist they xray.  Luckily it's half term so I can keep him rested indoors, but I want this sorted before school starts back next week!

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  • Posted

    Most certainly somebody CAN walk with a fracture. An elderly lady I knew had fallen down in her garden. She had a badly swollen ankle and foot but carried on as usual. Only 3 years later when she was at the doctors did she learn she had fractured her ankle!  She was unaware of it. I think most injuries depend upon our individual thresholds of pain. Clearly she felt a lot of pain but just put up with it. Its the same with many of the elderly who have arthritis. Many have more pain than others but perhaps don't feel it as much. Pain thresholds differ enormously.
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  • Posted

    Hi,

        I would always insist that they x-ray a young one since they really don't know what kind of things they should or shouldn't be doing if he did have a break, walking on it could make it much worse and it take even longer to heal. Young children have only one thing on their minds and that's playing and more playing and I would hate for him to do more damage to the leg, what if he fell again and had another break on top of what could already be a break. I wouldn't wait, take him on doctors will get over it make them x-ray his leg. God bless his little heart. Keep us updated on his condition.

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  • Posted

    On Nov 1st, day of my birthday, i fell on one of my sons toy trucks coming down hard on my patella breaking it completely into. It was excruriating pain as i felt my knee pancake on my oak floor. I was able to walk on it before my surgery and after my surgery with a knee brace, so yes, you can indeed walk on a broken leg. I cant bend mine due to my tendons being tight, but i can walk peg legged.
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