4 Year Old Son Hurt Arm-

Updated on July 11, 2013
A.H. asks from Brighton, CO
12 answers

So my son fell off a teter totor last night lands on his arm- screaming. I waited about 30 mom to see if maybe he just jammed it- well he didn't stop crying- I had to put a shirt on him and he screamed louder then ever- so we go to the urgent care- they tookxrays of his forearm (that's where he point to when we ask where it hurts) X-rays come out normal we go home- he woke up today he's not using that arm at all- it's just sorta hanging there slightly bent at the elbow- he can't turn his palm side up at all- or do a thumbs up- he says his fingers feel tingly. so I called his regular dr- we are heading in at 2 but wondering if the X-ray may have missed a fracture or maybe it's ligament tendon injury? Anyone have any thoughts?

Thank you-

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So What Happened?

So he's going to his dr today- she wanted him to get into ortho today but couldn't get in until Monday so she said he needs to come to her office- I'm wondering if it may be like nerves? He won't move it at all/ it's his right arm and he's struggling to try and do things w his left- thank you a for your advice/concerns!

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answers from Denver on

He may have sprained his wrist. I did this a couple of times when I was a kid and it was just as painful, if not more so, than when I broke my arm (yes, I was an accident prone kid). His symptoms sound the same. Good luck!

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answers from New York on

Unfortunately, would not be the first time a fracture was missed. Let us know what happens 😢

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

When my son was 4 or 5, he dislocated his elbow.. (this was on a Saturday, if I remember correctly). Anyway, he really wasn't complaining that much, and since he had a doctor's appointment on Monday anyway, we just waited...

Oops! He had dislocated his elbow! (Nursmaid's elbow)

The doctor was able to quickly rotate his elbow back into position, and all was well!

As others have said, Urgent care sometimes does miss things.... especially something like a dislocation that doesn't always show up easily on an x-ray....

Another time, this same son fell from the top bunk... complained greatly about his left arm. We took him in to the doctor that morning, they did x-rays, but nothing showed up on the x-ray.... put it in a sling, still complained... took him back a couple of days later...... still nothing!

He went ahead and went camping/backpacking that weekend with his cub scout den (we were both going with him), and he fell TWICE on that same arm.....

Nothing ever did show up as being broken... it was just a "soft tissue injury" as they called it.... but it bothered him for quite a while. He also favored it for a long time, not wanting to straighten it.

Be sure to let us know what it was!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Jacksonville on

It could be a hairline fracture that they missed.

My son got hit across the knuckles with something at a martial arts class. It was painful beyond normal, and swollen. Took him to urgent care where they xrayed it, said it was not broken, to move it around gently to help the ligaments to not knot up, and take advil.

Next day, I get a call that there actually IS a fracture and that they would be calling the orthopoedist to set up an appointment for him, to bring him back so they could splint his hand in the meantime (it was 5:00 PM---it took them ALL the next day before they saw the xray actually did show a fracture). Oh.. and not to move it at all if he could help it (he was at that very moment stretching his fingers like they had TOLD HIM to do). !!!

I would get a copy of the x-ray (they can stick one on a disc for you) and take it to your child's regular doctor.

Side story: When I was a kid, my brother landed on top of me on our trampoline with my hand bend backwards at a funky angle. I cried and thought something was broken. My mom thought otherwise and waited until the next day to take me to the doctor (this was in the 70's ok... no urgent care existed except the very expensive ER trip). I couldn't sleep all night long. I had a fracture in my forearm. The sheer weight of the arm itself created enough pressure on the fractured bone that it was extremely painful if not fully supported with pillows at the exactly correct angle.

I think the doc-in-the-box missed a fracture on your son.


Just noticed that it sounds like you too went there "after hours." I think that it is probably not uncommon for them to miss some fractures (unless they are absolutely plain and the uneducated couldn't miss it), because I don't think they staff radiologists in urgent care facilities. If they do, they aren't there the same hours as other staff. I suspect that only the doc glanced at the xray of my son's hand, saw nothing glaring and that was that. Probably next day, they send the xray out for review (or someone comes in to review) and THEY found it.

My son said HE saw it while he was sitting there. I didn't know what I was looking for exactly, so I don't know how my son thought he knew, but whatever. He was right. We ended up with a copy of it on disc after the trip to the orthopoedist and my mom was down for a visit. We popped it in the laptop for her and she saw it right away (was an xray tech 50 years ago).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

Can the urgent care send the x-ray to your doctor electronically? I think he should have a look at them.

Hope your little guy feels better soon!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I would call your doctor again and explain and see if you should have it looked at again. I hope he feels better soon :)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Let us know after your doc what happened. I'd love to know, but it's pretty difficult to diagnose from here.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Could his elbow be dislocated? An xray will show a fracture but the tech reading it could miss it. My friend hurt her leg...the ER said it was a bad sprain and to follow up with an orthopedic since she may have torn her meniscus (an MRI would show that). When the ortho doc reviewed the X-ray, it actually showed she had 2 fractures.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

they clearly missed something-take him to the ER-ice and elevate in the meantime.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I don't trust doc's at urgent care or even the pediatric's office to do a different doc's job. Only a Radiologist can accurately read an X-ray.

I can't tell you how many times we've been told by urgent care AND ER docs that one of the kids had a broken bone. BUT when we get the ER report the next day there were no broken bones seen....

Use the hospital radiology department for X-rays for something this important. He is truly exhibiting a lot of classic symptoms of a broken bone.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Nurse maids elbow! My daughter had that. Went to ER and they fixed it. She did it again and I googled a you tube video and watched what they did. Fixed it myself! It's soooo easy! Look it up and do it!


answers from Hartford on

It's really possible that they missed a break. Sometimes the break doesn't occur until later after there's been some time to put stress on the bone.

Your doctor needs to have the X-Rays sent to her so that she can see them for herself. I would get on that right away. The urgent care should be able to send her CD copies but you may have to sign release of information forms.

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