They are going to play. They will always remain active. And they will get injured. Taking part in physical activities is quite essential for young children. More often than not, these activities are related to sports.
Being active helps maintain the emotional and physical wellbeing of children. It also instills the positive habit of exercising in them. While engaging in athletic activities is essential, overdoing it might lead to injuries.
Pediatric and adolescent elbow injuries are quite common. Such wounds can either be acute or chronic conditions. Be it an indirect or secondary trauma, these problems can often be accompanied by pain in wrist joints or shoulder. Hence, it is crucial to assess these problems correctly and at the earliest.
Explaining the types of injuries
Radial Neck Fractures –This can be caused by a fall or blow to the child’s outstretched arm. Swelling from this injury occurs right above the side of the elbow. It presents as restricted range of motion especially during elbow extension and forearm rotation. Signs of pain and tenderness become evident with passive rotation of the elbow. The vascular and nerve involvement in this condition requires careful assessment. There might also be motion blockage because of dislocated fracture fragments which need to be corrected immediately.
Distal Humerus Fractures – The fracture can be in the form of 2 types of injuries – Supracondylar and Transcondylar. The former is most common in children and is accompanied by elbow pain, swelling. For this condition, assessing the damage risk to the brachial nerve and artery is essential. Some other common signs of this elbow injury in children are distinctive swelling of forearm and forearm flexors. The discomfort can also extend to fingers, as well. For evaluating the condition properly, getting a lateral X-Ray done for the child’s elbow can be helpful.
Lateral Condyle Fractures –This type of fracture accounts for 17-20% of elbow injuries and is quite prevalent in children ageing 5-10 years. These injuries occur due to the impact of a fall on outstretched hands. Here, the outer edge of an elbow joint is affected which results to marked swelling. Such fractures can have immense impact on the elbow joint surface and growth plate. Ensuring proper alignment of the fractured pieces is necessary. Getting an X-Ray done for analyzing the damage is crucial before the wound worsens.
Vital Points to Remember
- Treatment aspects of elbow injuries include first aid procedures, application of cast, brace or splint. Physical therapy can also be beneficial for children and ensures early recovery for them. However, at times, medicines and surgery might be required for remedying the injury.
- Factors of treatment primarily depend on the type, severity and location of injury in young kids. Taking into consideration how long ago the elbow injury had occurred is important, too. Health conditions, age, and activities are other important features.
- Helping the child with some general preventive measures and tips will be helpful for them. Ensure that they wear protective gear during recreational or sports activities. Wearing supportive splints and protective clothing will help in reducing the risk of injuries.
- Children should perform warm up and stretching exercises before and after indulging in physical and recreational activities. This will aid in warming up muscles and will prevent the risk of any damage to the elbow.
- Straining arm muscles and elbow while doing repeated movements will affect the tendons or bursa so it is crucial to avoid such activities.
By keeping these crucial points in mind, averting elbow injuries in active children will be possible.