2 1/2 Year Old with Broken Leg ( Fibula and Tibia )

Updated on June 28, 2013
A.U. asks from Allen Park, MI
11 answers

Hi..Saturday my 2 1/2 year old very active daughter broke both lower bones in her left leg ..fibula and tibia...little above the ankle. We were transferred to Children's Hospital (detroit) because the hospital we were at felt she needed a Pediatric Ortho Doc because it was so bad :( Once we got to Children's and seen the Ortho Doc there (they did their own xrays), he said that he would sedate her and would be able to "set it" back in line and cast it. They sent us home with tylenol 3 for pain.. The Doctor told us to keep her leg elevated above her heart to help with swelling and told us that she would need to be in a long leg cast (it goes from mid thigh to foot) for about a month and that she can not put any pressure on it at all, then after that she'll probably be put in a walking cast. She has been home now for 2nd night (we got home last night at around 1am) ..and she woke up crying really hard that it was hurting.. They told me to watch her toes to make sure they have color, that she can feel them, and can wiggle them...She does seem to be ok with all that, but it does look like there is a little swelling in her toes. I also have 4 and 9 year old daughters and this is our first experience with broken bone, so i'm just absolutely freaking out. They said it did not affect her "growth plate". Does anyone have advice/experiences to share please? How long i have to keep her leg elevated above her heart? Just any advice you can think of...Is it ok that she screams in pain still sometimes? Also earlier she when a couple people visted her she was acting silly and she threw her leg with a cast on it over to the side real fast and hit my knee pretty hard..Ugh, did she mess something up?? She didn't seem to cry at the time, but she woke up around 3:30 screaming in pain, i gave the tylenol 3 and by around 4 she was calming down and back to sleep... I'm a wreck, i feel so bad for her, this is breaking my heart!

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answers from Dallas on

I am with JB stay on top of the pain meds. Right now don't give as needed. Give right on time. If they wear off right now she will be in lots of pain. Maybe in a few days let it wear off and see. But right now if not a good idea.

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answers from Boston on

The one thing I can think of is to make sure that you give her the medicine before she's in pain. It's really hard to stay on top of pain like that if you wait until she's in pain to give it to her. I know that with a strong pain med like that I'd want to give as little to my child as possible and only when really, really needed but for at least the first few days, give it to her as often as the prescription allows until she is relatively pain free for a day and then try to taper it off.

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answers from Seattle on

If the pain meds are to be given every 4 hours then give them every 4 hours...even if it seems like she doesn't need them, and even if you have to wake her up in the middle of the night. Stay on top of those and the pain shouldn't be too bad. However, if you are on top of pain meds, her toes are swollen, and she is screaming then you need to go back to the doctor.
My brother jumped out of the car when he was 1 1/2 and broke his leg. His cast was from his groin to his toes as well. He was up and running after about 2 weeks. You could always hear him coming Thump Thump Thump.
Just get the pain under control and she will be running around in no time.
Poor baby AND poor mama. Nothing is worse than hearing your baby in pain and there is nothing you can do.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Stay on top of the pain meds!!!! If they say give every 4 hours then give them every 4 hours, maybe even 10-20 mins early....there needs to be NO lapses in time for the first week or so! If she is in pain you have either waited to long to give her the meds (don't do that!) or the meds aren't strong enough! If they are not strong enough call her Dr. and tell them! There is NO reason she should be screaming in pain! Poor baby!!!

Good thing she didn't have to have surgery! This is a VERY good thing!!

I have broken my humerus bone at my elbow & have to have surgery.,,and I can tell you that the pain of the bones healing back together is excruciating! I was on HEAVY duty pain meds (20mg Hydrocodone + 20 mgs Oxycodone) and there were 2 days about 5 days in that hurt so bad every once in awhile that I couldn't do anything but pace around and grit my teeth, it was SO not funny...man it sucked! Luckily it didn't last that long!

Call and ask the Dr. or nurse at doctors office how long to keep it elevated!

If she didn't cry or wince when she hit you, I am sure she is fine. The casts really do keep the bones secure!

Baby her and keep her comfy! Seriously, stay on top of the pain meds... It's not to messed around with, she does not need to have unnecessary pain & discomfort!!

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answers from Detroit on

She has to be careful not to bang or fly her foot around it is painful to brake a bone. You should make sure a every four hrs to give meds a half hr before there gonna wear off is the golden rule.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Ice and elevation are key right now.
You need to keep her leg elevated as much as possible. You can put a blanket under the end of her mattress to keep her leg elevated during the night.
Apply ice packs every few hours to keep the swelling down and reduce the pain.
Stay on top of her pain meds, especially at night too. Which means you may need to wake her to give them to her. You can probable start to use regular Tylenol during the day around day 4 or 5, but she'll need the Tylenol 3 at night a while longer.

Codeine is constipating, so make sure she is getting plenty of fiber and water or you will be dealing with another problem. :-)

She will let you know how long to continue with things, probable about 5 - 10 days for ice and elevation and less for pain medication.

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answers from Columbus on

I broke my leg - just the fibula - right after mother's day - so six weeks ago. It still swells every day. My friend, who is a physical therapist, told me two days ago that I still need to elevate it and ice it every night for at least another month (I was in a boot for over a month -up until last week, but was able to start weight bearing after about 3 weeks). It hurts! It just does! I really don't think she messed anything up when she hit your leg with her cast. Those first two weeks were hard for me! I spent almost the whole day on my back with my leg elevated. I slept with my leg on pillows. The swelling does hurt -- I could take off my boot, but she can't take off her cast, so definitely keep it elevated - the break itself hurts, but the swelling hurts much more.

I feel for you. Don't hesitate to call the doctor for your concerns, but just know that at 44 with my first broken bone, I can empathize with your peanut! But she'll heal quickly - her body is made to grow right now!

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answers from Norfolk on

It's tough to get through but they really do heal up fairly quickly.
An adult would be in a cast for 2 months.
I worked with someone who's 2 yr old had a tv fall on her at a home daycare and broke her leg.
In 6 weeks time it was like it was never broke at all.
She grew up just fine with no difficulties with her leg and if she didn't see pictures of herself in a cast she never would have known she ever had a broken leg.

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answers from Los Angeles on

Aww poor baby!! and Mom! I would just suggest you stay on top of her pain meds. Don't skip a dose even if you think she's feeling fine so that the pain is not able to show its ugly face. I personally would alternate with both Tylenol and ibuprofen but that's just me. Good luck!!



answers from Oklahoma City on

I had knee surgery and had over 100 stitches inside my leg. I wore a full length cast for the full 6 weeks. I had to keep my leg elevated for a long time because the swelling would be so bad. I think she needs to find out momma is going to sit right beside her and hold her foot in her lap if little one can't understand she has an owie that will hurt a lot if she doesn't keep it still and elevated.

Poor little one.



answers from Norfolk on

I'm so sorry for you! My 18-month old broke his tibia (just a fracture) and it was so scary and sad!

He was in a walking cast and the thing I remember most was the dirty looks I got from other people. Seriously? I was horrified. His was a complete accident; he was on a playset with some older friends and one of them landed on his leg on the side of a step. But, once she's in a walking cast, please disregard these cranky people!

Also, they have boot-like accessories that make it easier to walk, and non-slip. We actually resorted to using my husband's socks to keep his foot from slipping, and watching him re-learn to walk was so sad.

Anyway, keep your chin up and know that she will be fine! My son is 7 now and has had zero problems with his leg or growth. Best of luck to your family!

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