4 Year Old with Broken Foot

Updated on March 06, 2011
K.A. asks from Exton, PA
5 answers

Hi Moms,
I am writing to find out if anyone else has had a young child break a bone in their foot. My 4 year old and I spent the evening in the Chester County ER to find out after several exrays that she has broken her tarsal bone in her left foot. I feel like a terrible Mom b/c I kept telling her to toughen up when she was crawling all over the house the last two days (but that's for another day). Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has experience with CHOP or DUPONT Ortho Docs and what we can expect. They are going to treat her tomorrow and I expect they will cast it but do you know if she can also be give a boot so that she can still be mobile. Also how long is a break like this usually in a cast. The ER wrote a script for crutches for her height but even at 39 inches they were still too big. Thoughts to ease this worried & stressed out Mom????

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So What Happened?

Thanks for the feedback on Dr. Flynn. We did wait 2 hours for a 7:30 am appt on Friday but his diagnosis was "spot on" and our daughter is now in a walking cast for 6-8 weeks and we are happy with him as well. Hopefully these next few weeks fly by!

More Answers



answers from Phoenix on

My 8 yr. old broke the same bone this summer slipping on ice. The Ortho MD in the ER recommended a stiff boot, which was terrible. So I contacted an Ortho clinic and they suggested an air cast. We loved it. She loved it. She was like a new kid and spent the rest of summer hiking, horseback riding, biking, walking all over. It comes off during bath.

Not all ortho's carry a Pediatric size air cast. You might have to ask around. But I definitely recommend it.



answers from Boston on

Just to make you feel a little less guilty: My sister is an orthopedic nurse at a top quality hospital and has been for years and years. She's also a great mom to 4 kids. When her third kid was 5, he took a bad fall on a family ski vacation. After the ski patrol helped them down the mountain and checked him out, she told him he was fine & to stop whining. Later, she scolded him for complaining and being a pill. The next day at home, when he was still fussy -- and looked a little off -- she took him to the ER for a follow up. Yup. Broken leg. She beat herself up over that for a year! Now, he's a college graduate, still loves to ski and play basketball and is totally fine (though I think she's scarred for life ;-) ).

FWIW -- when I broke my ankle I was in a cast w/crutches for a couple of weeks, then in a "walking cast" boot for about 4 - 5 weeks.



answers from Philadelphia on

my son was recently treated at CHOP for broken leg... while the er dept did not impress us.. we have liked our ortho doc-- dr flynn. be prepared to wait, appointments rarely run on time. we have gone to dupont in past as well (not ortho though) and LOVE them....


answers from Spokane on

My youngest daughter broke a bone her foot when she was three. I felt horrible because the first few days I thought she was ok too until her foot swelled up. (She had jumped off a picnic bench and landed just right that it snapped a bone). So we did the ex-rays etc. She was actually too small for a boot. So the doc had us keep heavy leather shoes on her for almost two months. She had to keep them on at all times (unless she was sleeping) to stabilize it (pretty much what the boot would have done). At one point, we even had to duct tape the darn shoe to her foot so she wouldn't take it off. For a long time after, her foot was sensitive and would hurt her if we walked too much (we pretty much walk, rarely use our van) so we would let her walk as long as she could and then she would ride in the wagon. She's over it now and hasn't mentioned her foot in about a year (she's 4 1/2 now).

My 5 yo son (7 now), however, also broke his foot that summer (the opposite one, completely unrelated incident) and he did have a boot. He was really unhappy about it. It throws off their balance and as the body compensates, it puts a lot of pressure on the hip, etc. So if they do give you a boot, expect your daughter to be very uncomfortable. They're simple to use though.

I was in a boot for almost two months this winter, so I know exactly why he complained so much now! LOL Big hugs. It will be ok. No matter how careful we mommas are, stupid stuff happens and we don't always realize how bad it is. For instance, my 6 yo daughter just sliced her finger open last week and had to have stitches. (She was pig headed and was trying to show me that she could too use my knives, even though she knew better; she's certainly learned the hard way otherwise.) I had no idea it was as bad as it was. I was concerned it took over an hour to stop the bleeding but I just thought it was a bad cut. However, I went to the dollar store to buy more bandaids, and her finger started bleeding again. An EMT friend happened to be there, saw the finger, asked when it had happened and said to take her to the doc. Otherwise, I probably would have waffled over it. I'm glad now I took her.

It will take some adjustments, but she'll be fine. :)



answers from Phoenix on

our situation was a little different so I don't really have advice but know you are not alone and don't feel like a bad mommy :)

My son was complaining that his feet hurt, hurt to walk etc. But then I would see him playing with friends and not limping so I told him to tough it out, its growing pains etc etc ( he was 8 at the time). Finally my mom convinced me to take him to a podiatrist to see if there happened to be anything and sure enough both of his heels has stress fractures in them from the foot plates growing so quickly. Multiple fractures on each side at that! Talk about feeling horrible! They could cast with out putting him in a wheel chair so they did a walking boot on one side for 8 weeks, then the other. now he is perfectly fine.

So relax, know that you can't always know when something is truly wrong and when you find out you do your best to care for them. You are a good mama and I am sure things will go just fine!

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