My Son's WALKING... with a Broken Knee.

Updated on August 14, 2011
R.D. asks from Richmond, VA
13 answers

I'm exhausted from this; can't wait to see the ortho doc Monday!!

So now my 19 month old is WALKING with the leg splint on. He gets his cast Monday. I was kind of freaking out yesterday because he was crawling on it, and now he's walking. [sigh]. If it doesn't bother him and makes him happy, I'm inclined to let him go ahead and cautiously walk around... but I can't shake this 'you're the grown up, make him sit' feeling in my gut.

I don't want him to make it any worse. It's splinted really welll, and obviously not hurting him anymore (I'm even wondering if it's even really, truly broken at this point, that's how happy my baby is!)... so do I continue to exhaust myself and fight it, make him stop walking? Or is it okay to throw my hands in the air and give up until we see the doc Monday?

What would you do if this was your little one?

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So What Happened?

@Cheryl, I was just telling Rob, *I* have a ridiculously high tolerance for pain, and I'm wondering if the baby will too... I went around for almost 2 days with a foot broken in 6 places and thought I had only broken my pinkie toe. (Now if I get a paper cut, I'll flip out forever, LOL!!)

@LipstickMama, no, this happened the day before yesterday (Thurs? What's today?! LOL)... and he flips if I strap him in the high chair or stroller. I've tried giving him everything and anything under the sun, and sticking him in front of the tv.... this is not working!!


@Appriel, they wouldn't cast it at the hospital because it was swollen to the size of a softball; if they had casted it, it would have gotten too loose to work in a few days, which is why we have to wait until Monday :(

@Denise, NO, nobody has gotten back to me!! I've called a couple of times too!! The ER had said *try* to keep him off it, keep it elevated, etc. The ortho place said they wouldn't give me advice because they haven't seen him yet. The pediatrician's the one I'm mad about not calling me back, they're usually VERY good.

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answers from Des Moines on

I'd let him go, the stress and struggle of trying to keep him off it might actually cause more damage. That said I wouldn't be above playing his favorite videos and actually HOPING the boob tube sucks him in! That's one good thing about usually limiting their screen time-- when you do allow them unfettered access they're even more likely to get fascinated with it

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answers from Charlotte on


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answers from Minneapolis on


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answers from Seattle on

When I broke my Tibia last year, they told me to stay off of it until I was in a cast. Once I was in the cast, I was allowed to walk on it. I'd REALLY keep him still until he's in a proper cast. My assumption (based on an entirely different bone break) is that the splint is there to keep his break lined up, and to allow for swelling. If he's walking with a splint, and his break shifted, it could mean surgery and the like.

So if I wasn't able to reach a medical professional, and my child were in this position, I'd do everything in my power to keep them still.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Well, short of drugging him to sleep or tying him to the can you really keep him off of it.
If you tell him to stay off of it, does he listen?
When you left the hospital, did they say "no walking" specifically?
If he's walking, it must not be causing too much pain for him to tolerate.
I would try to minimize his activity and keep trying to get in touch with the hospital or doctor's office--did they ever get back to you?

Here's some info on kneecaps regarding children: "Babies usually develop kneecaps around the fourth month in utero, so they're born with them. But these kneecaps are made of soft cartilage instead of hard bone. They don't harden, or ossify, into "real" kneecaps until the baby is about 3 years old."

Sooooo....maybe the lack of an actual bone kneecap explains his motility at 19 mos.?

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answers from Denver on

Do you have health insurance? If so, many insurance companies have a nurse available to speak with by phone 24/7. Check your insurance ID card or your plan's paperwork or their website.

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answers from Washington DC on

If his knee was broken - he would NOT be able to walk on it - my $10 bucks says it was REALLY sprained and swollen...and the splint has help heal it.

Other side of the coin? He could have a TRULY HIGH tolerance for pain and dealing with it since he WANTS to be mobile...

I don't know how to help you with this one honey - I wish I could give you some words of experience...but alas - I cannot...dude...I'm bummed!!

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answers from Seattle on

If his knee is broken, what kind of quack doctor let him go home in just a splint. If I were you, I would file a formal complaint. So many things can go wrong if a broken bone is not set as soon as possible after the break. That being said he should not be walking on it. You should take him to the ER and get his little leg fix! My god this really is a no brainer. I don't mean to be rude, but he should be in a cast. Once he is in the cast, he should be just fine to hobble around because the circulation prevents clots.

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answers from San Antonio on

Oh hon! That poor little one! IMO (and I'm not a doctor, so take what I say with a grain of salt) I would let him go. He may not be crawling because it hurts to put weight on the knee...and when walking, he's found a way to use the split to bare most of the weight.

The only thing I recommend is keeping and eye on all the places the split could push into him (hip/groin/ankle areas) and make sure he doesn't hurt himself there.

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answers from Atlanta on

I'd confine him primarily to sitting his high chair, at least until his first check-up. I assume the first check-up is a week from the accident?

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answers from Seattle on

Oh girl! Your life is never boring! LOL

Im sorry about the baby. Not much you can do to stop them from walking when they are determined. Just do your best to keep baby comfortable and hopefully Monday will get here quick.

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answers from Phoenix on

I had thought about that yesterday, after I had already responded to your post , that they don't cast @ hospital & the wait w/ just the soft splint, until ortho. We were lucky, my son broke his leg on Sun, so we got in Mon. morning. We were supposed to wait a couple days before casting but he had minimal swelling & I knew I couldn't keep him off his leg for 3 days. Sorry, I'm rambling. I don't know if they have a Sat. clinic but I wonder you called, if they could cast today. I don't anyone can expect you to keep a 19 month old off his leg.

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answers from Kansas City on

This isn't the same thing, but maybe it is sort of. I once rescued this cat from a pet store. They told me they were putting him to sleep. His leg was broken in 2 places and completely separated from the hip. I took him home thinking that I had a good vet and he would let me make payments. This cat did not act like he was in any pain. He literally ran from one end of the house to the other with his leg flapping in the wind. I didn't have a kennel back then or anything I could keep him down in. I tried boxes and he clawed his way out with his front paws since it was a back leg broken.

The next week his leg was surgically put back together with screws and a pin. The doctor didn't tell me that it was made worse. But maybe it couldn't get worse?

I'm with you. I'm worried for your son. Maybe you should call the ER and ask them what to do.

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