Care for kids with broken bones

It’s important to understand that treating broken bones in kids of any age is different. Their bones are more flexible, so when they break, the fracture patterns aren't the same as you'd see in an adult's bones.

Signs and symptoms of broken bones

If your child falls or is injured, here are some common signs and symptoms that might mean he or she has broken a bone:

  • You or your child heard a snapping sound during the injury.
  • There's swelling, bruising or tenderness around the injured body part.
  • It hurts when you or your child moves, touches or presses on it. If it is a leg injury, it probably hurts to put weight on it.
  • The injured body part doesn't look normal and might even be bent the wrong way. With a severe break, the bone might come right through the skin.

Video: How growth plates impact broken bones in children



Learn more about fractures in children.

Why Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin?

When a child or teen breaks a bone, they need specific treatment because of their developing bones, especially if the break involves a growth plate in the bone. Our pediatric orthopedic specialists have the advanced training and expertise to recognize and treat children’s fractures, and minimize the risk of problems that could affect growth and function.

At Children’s Hospital, we understand that the right treatment really depends on the location, the type of break and the patient’s age. Some breaks will heal well with limited care, but others will need surgery to heal correctly.

How to get fracture care for your child

It’s easy to receive quick and convenient treatment at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin:

  • Call central scheduling
    Make an appointment weekdays with an orthopedic specialist at Children’s in Milwaukee or the outpatient clinic in Greenfield by calling Central Scheduling at (414) 607-5280 or (877) 607-5280 (toll-free).
  • Go to a Children's urgent care location
    At night and on the weekends, when your child’s primary care doctor is closed, you can visit one of our many urgent care locations.
  • Go to the ER
    If your child’s injury seems bad (severe pain, bleeding or bone bent the wrong way), go straight to our Emergency Room. An orthopedic specialist always is on call. If there is severe bleeding or your child is experiencing other symptoms, call 911.

Have questions or concerns?

Nurse line: To help ensure that we provide the best care for kids and families, the Orthopedic Center offers a special nurse line at (414) 266-2411. This message center allows families to have their questions or concerns addressed as soon as possible. An orthopedic nurse will respond within 1-2 hours or the next business day. Nurses are available 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, although messages can be left anytime. 

Making patients (and parents) more comfortable

Our clinics are staffed with a team of specialists all specifically trained to provide the most qualified care for your child’s injury, in as comfortable a manner as possible. Pain management is tailored to the age of the patient and the extent of the injury. If you child’s injury requires surgery, our team of surgeons is always on call to treat your child’s injury quickly.

Fortunately, most fractures only require a cast. Our patients can choose from a wide array of colors, including sparkles. A waterproof cast may also be appropriate.