20Month Old with Buckle Fracture in Lower Tibia

Updated on January 23, 2011
R.A. asks from Arnold, MD
9 answers

My 20 month old was diagnosedwith a buckle fracture in her lower tibia today. I won't be able to see an orthopedist until Monday. She is in a splint for now and is very unhappy. How long will she have her permanent cast and will she be able to walk with it?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all of the responses! We saw the Orthopedist today. It turns out it is a fracture in the distal tibia, not a buckle fracture. He said she will be in a cast for at least 6 weeks, maybe 12. We fo back in 3 weeks to see how it is healing. He is not sure at this point if it is in the growth plate. Hopefuly not...For now, she has a hot pink cast up to her mid thigh and does not seem to be bothered by it

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answers from Seattle on

We had the same thing over a weekend, got the cast Monday and she was so much happier. She didn't sleep well and was in pain with just the splint. Took her a week or so to try walking but by the end of the 6 weeks she was running and dancing! Even ran out of the doctor after getting it off. No problems since! It went by really fast. We kept the cast clean and covered with baby legs legwarmers, which she loved. Brought out the stroller and sling for errands, and covered it with a slipper or dark sock when walking outside. Hang in there!

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answers from Washington DC on

I work for an orthopaedic office. It depends on where the fracture is in the lower leg and how bad it is. If the fracture truly is in the lower end of her tibia she'll probably be in a cast anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks. Again, it really depends on how bad the fx is and how high up the tibia it is. As for walking, depending on the fracture the doctor may not want your daughter to walk in it. That being the case,we cast the child with a large bend at the knee to try to prevent the child from walking on it. And even with that the kids still figure a way to walk on it, lol.

Your daughter may be unhappy because the splint inhibits her, or could be unhappy because she's still in some pain from the fracture. Usually people (kids and adults!) still have pain in the splint. Once the cast is put on it usually alleviates most of the pain. The good news is, if you have to have a fracture, a buckle fracture is the one to have. And, children's bones do a whole lot of remodeling as they grow so they recover from these things wonderfully.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

I doubt anyone can control a 20 month old and she will maneuver in any way she feels comfortable. I'm sure docs know and assume and prepare for this and they will send her home with something you CAN deal with.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

My 16-month old fractured his tibia (not sure if it was a buckle fracture) and he was casted for 3 weeks. He was able to walk, but with a bit of adjustment. The worst part was that the bottom of the cast was smooth and slippery. We ended up putting my husband's sock over it to give him a little traction. I did see a boy with a cool cast cover that provided traction a few months ago. Be sure to ask for something like this when you go to the doc. Also, you can make it a little less horrible for him by letting him pick the color of his cast. Finally, if more x-rays are needed, you can sit on the table with him between your legs to make it less scary. Didn't learn this until our final x-ray of the ordeal. Oh, and ignore all the people that give you dirty looks! I was flabbergasted by what people assumed! Finally, my son is now 5 and has had zero repercussions from his break. Wishing you the best!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My 2 1/2 yr old son fractured his ankle in October. He was in a cast for 2 wks and had no problem getting around. The orthopedic (we went to Towson Sports Medicine) said it would take him a day or 2 to figure out how to get around on the cast, but he had it figured out as soon as we got home!

They heal fast and it takes a lot to hold them down at this age! LOL

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answers from Cumberland on

Fight and advocate for your child-they will try to give you a cast that cannot withstand one molecule of water-don't let them-there a wonderful products that are just as effective-like for men-get one of those-some can be velcroed on and off and the liner can be changed a couple times a day-get plenty of those-children heal quickly-not sure about walking on the leg without seeing the fracture.



answers from New York on

All I can tell you is that my son had a bump fracture in his forearm at the same age and he had to wear a cast for three weeks. I don't know if its the same deal with the leg though...



answers from Minneapolis on

It depends on the kid and how bad the fracture is. My son was 2 when he had a buckle fracture on his lower leg. He was in a splint for a week and a cast for 4. He was able to walk on it. In fact he walked out of the drs office. My daughter had a buckle fracture on tibia and was just in a splint for 3 weeks.
Hang in there!



answers from Redding on

These are questions for the orthopedist.
Everything depends on so many different factors.
My friend's daughter broke her leg when she was about this age and they couldn't keep her down no matter what. Her cast had to be removed and changed like 4 times because she was so rough on it. It took longer to heal because the kid would not sit in one place let alone keep her leg elevated for 30 seconds. Unless she was sleeping.
The good news is she is an adult and fine now. There were no lasting affects.

It might not be easy, but you'll get through this and have stories to tell when your daughter is older.
Hopefully the orthopedist you're going to has lots of experience with children and knows just what to do.

Best wishes.

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