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Fracture of index finger in 3 yr old.

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My 3 y/o son fractured his right index finger yesterday (5/1/13). I have been to an ER and they said the Ortho. on call didn't think it was life threatening and would not see him. The next appointment won't be until late next week. I want to know if I should press to get it set ASAP or just wait for the next available appointment? My concern is that the ONE Ortho. that would even look at his X-ray said that the finger will heal in about 3 weeks and he would need for the finger to be pushed back or have a pin put in it. If the healing process is that quick, if we wait for more than a week to be seen the process will be half way done, and I do not want his finger to have to be re-broken. Essentially, I need advice on: i) how long is the healing process ii) is a week and half too long to wait to have a consultation with an Ortho. DR iii) should I push for him to be seen before then

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 23 Doctors Online


As the your kid is only 3 year old fracture of bone shouldn't be too much of a concern as kids have bone growth and bone healing faster than adults. Bone healing completely should take about a month although there is risk of re fracture in the same area for another 4 months.

It is not advisable that you wait for that long to get an appointment as the bones heal fast and if there is re alignment needed, it needs to be done soon. If realignment is not done soon, either in form of splint or nails, it will lead to mal union and gross deformity. Alignment is done using a nail called K wire.

K wire is used when there is displacement of bones especially finger bones or even sometimes in fractures of long bones like femur. The procedure is done with local anesthetic itself most of times. Though if the displacement is to a great extent then they prefer for a general anesthetic. Firstly they try to realign the displaced bone in its correct position by application of traction. After realigning the bones, the doctor makes sure the finger has achieved stability in that position.

Thank you.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
Dr. John Monheit and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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