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Buckle fractures fact sheet

Buckle fractures

A buckle fracture of the wrist is a small area of compressed bone. The wrist may be tender, slightly swollen, and painful to move, including rotation of the forearm or flexing the wrist.

The injury may be difficult to see on an X-ray.

what is a buckle fracture

How is it treated?

Buckle fractures are usually treated with a pre-made wrist splintor a Plaster of Paris backslab. Both these methods, combined with simple painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, will help control your child’s pain.

buckle fracture treatment

Care at home

  • A buckle fracture is a minor fracture but should still be treated as if the injured limb is in plaster. The splint should be worn for four weeks. During this time and for four weeks after the splint is removed, your child should avoid all sporting activities (including swimming) and rough play.
  • Your child’s arm may be sore for a few days and they need some pain relief. If their arm is swollen, you can reduce this by raising the arm above the level of the heart.
  • The splint may be removed for showering purposes but should be worn at all other times, including sleeping.
  • If the arm remains sore after the splint is removed, see your GP.

When should you seek medical help?

Your child should be reviewed by a doctor if:

  • they continue to have pain despite pain relief or has increasing pain,
  • their arm becomes more swollen,
  • you are concerned for any reason.

Contact us

Queensland Children’s Hospital
501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane
07 3068 1111 (general enquiries)

In an emergency, always call 000.

If it’s not an emergency but you have any concerns, contact 13 Health (13 43 2584). Qualified staff will give you advice on who to talk to and how quickly you should do it. You can phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Resource No: FS097. Developed by Emergency Department. Updated: June 2015. All information contained in this sheet has been supplied by qualified professionals as a guideline for care only. Seek medical advice, as appropriate, for concerns regarding your child’s health.