HOW DOES PHYSICAL THERAPY HELP IN RECOVERING FROM FRACTURES IN CHILDREN?

How does physical therapy help in recovering from fractures in children?

A fracture is a break in a bone. Fractures in children are different from fractures in adults in a few ways. First, children’s bones are more flexible and less likely to break than adults’ bones. Second, children’s bones heal more quickly than adults’ bones. Finally, children are more likely to have greenstick fractures, which are incomplete fractures in which the bone is bent but not broken.

Types of fractures

The most common types of fractures in children are:

  1. Greenstick fractures: These are incomplete fractures in which the bone is bent but not broken. Greenstick fractures are most common in children under the age of 10.
  2. Torus fractures: These are buckle fractures that occur in the area of the bone where it is growing. Torus fractures are most common in children under the age of 10.
  3. Epiphyseal fractures: These fractures occur in the growth plate at the end of the bone. Epiphyseal fractures are most common in children under the age of 15.
  4. Slipped capital femoral epiphysis (SCFE): This is a fracture that occurs in the growth plate at the top of the thigh bone (femur). SCFE is most common in boys aged 11 to 16.
  5. Stress fractures: These fractures are caused by overuse and are most common in athletes.

Symptoms of fractures

The symptoms of a fracture in a child can vary depending on the type of fracture and where it is located. However, some common symptoms include:

  • Pain at the site of the fracture
  • Swelling and bruising at the site of the fracture
  • Deformity of the bone
  • Difficulty moving the limb
  • Inability to bear weight on the limb

How does physical therapy help children to recover from fractures?

Physical therapy can help children recover from fractures in a number of ways. It can help to:

  • Reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Improve range of motion.
  • Strengthen muscles.
  • Improve balance and coordination.
  • Restore function and activity level.

 Stages of physical therapy for children:

Physical therapy for fractures in children is typically divided into three phases:

Phase 1: Immobilization

The first phase of physical therapy typically begins immediately after the fracture. During this phase, the goal is to reduce pain and inflammation and protect the fracture site. This may involve immobilizing the limb with a cast, splint, or brace.

During this phase, the physical therapist may teach the child and their family how to care for the cast or splint and how to perform gentle exercises to maintain range of motion and prevent muscle atrophy.

Phase 2: Range of motion and strengthening

The second phase of physical therapy typically begins once the fracture has started to heal. During this phase, the goal is to improve the range of motion and strength in the affected limb.

The physical therapist may use a variety of techniques to help the child improve their range of motion, including:

  • Passive range of motion exercises: The physical therapist moves the child’s affected limb through its full range of motion.
  • Active-assisted range of motion exercises: The child uses their own muscles to move their affected limb through its full range of motion, with the help of the physical therapist.

Active range of motion exercises: The child uses their own muscles to move their affected limb through its full range of motion without any assistance.

The physical therapist may also prescribe strengthening exercises to help the child regain strength in their affected limb. These exercises may be done using weights, resistance bands, or the child’s own body weight.

Phase 3: Return to function

The third and final phase of physical therapy typically begins once the child has regained full range of motion and strength in their affected limb. During this phase, the goal is to help the child return to their normal activities.

The physical therapist may help the child develop a personalized exercise program that will help them gradually return to their normal activities. The physical therapist may also teach the child how to modify their activities to avoid re-injury.

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What kind of physical therapy is best for specific types of fractures in children?

Physical therapy for specific types of fractures in children:

The specific goals and interventions of physical therapy will vary depending on the type of fracture and its severity. For example, children with fractures of the lower extremity may need to focus on gait training and balance exercises. Children with fractures of the upper extremity may need to focus on improving their range of motion and strength in their hands and arms.

Here are some specific examples of how physical therapy can help children recover from different types of fractures:

  • Supracondylar humerus fracture: This is the most common type of fracture in children, and it occurs at the elbow joint. Physical therapy can help children with this type of fracture to regain range of motion and strength in their elbow.
  • Clavicle fracture: This type of fracture occurs at the collarbone. Physical therapy can help children with this type of fracture to improve the range of motion in their shoulder and neck.
  • Hip fracture: This type of fracture is more common in older children and adolescents. Physical therapy can help children with this type of fracture to regain range of motion and strength in their hip and leg.
  • Ankle fracture: This type of fracture is common in children who play sports. Physical therapy can help children with this type of fracture to regain range of motion and strength in their ankle and calf.

FAQs

When to start physical therapy?

Physical therapy for fractures in children typically begins as soon as possible after the fracture occurs. In some cases, physical therapy may begin while the child is still in the hospital.

How long does physical therapy last?

The duration of physical therapy will vary depending on the type of fracture and its severity. However, most children will need to participate in physical therapy for several weeks or even months.

Benefits of physical therapy for fractures in children

Physical therapy can help children recover from fractures more quickly and completely. It can also help to reduce the risk of complications, such as stiffness and muscle weakness.

Why is physical therapy important after a fracture?

Physical therapy plays a crucial role in the recovery process after a fracture, helping to restore function, improve mobility, and prevent complications.

How do fractures heal for kids?

The healing process for a fractured bone is similar for both children and adults, but children’s bones typically heal faster due to their increased blood supply and active growth processes.

What is the most common form of treatment for fractured bones in children?

The most common form of treatment for fractured bones in children is closed reduction and immobilization. Closed reduction involves manipulating the broken bone fragments back into their proper alignment without surgery. Immobilization involves using a cast, splint, or other device to keep the bone from moving while it heals.

Conclusion

Physical therapy is an important part of the recovery process for children with fractures. It can help children reduce pain and inflammation, improve their range of motion and strength, and return to their normal activities more quickly and safely.

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I am a highly skilled and experienced content writer with a Doctorate in Therapy degree. With a deep understanding of the human body and a passion for health and wellness. I combines my clinical expertise and writing skills to create valuable and engaging content.

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