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My son fell and hurt his arm. Could it be broken, cracked, a sprain or what?
He fell on it and I thought I heard a pop but I dunno if he just hit a book on the floor or what. He screams bloody murder when you move his elbow and his wrist but ther eis no swelling or no bruising. Hes also fine until you move it. Hes 4 and has a bit of a speech delay so its hard to tell what hes saying through the screaming. I finally got him to sleep but am going to stay up all night to make sure he doesnt roll over his arm or touch it or anything. From what I heard swelling and brusing could come within hours and hours of the fall. Anyone who has experienced this please tell me what I can do for him. By the way im taking him to the DR as soon as my hubby gets home.
Additional Details
BTW he can move his elbow up and down but he screams and the same way with his wrist.

It doesnt sound broken but id still get it looked at by a doctor to make sure.

Ben W
At such a young age it's either going to be broken or not, so if it's not an obvious break it's most likely a fracture or crack, and going to the doctor is the only way.

Peyton K
oo i am srry he is screwed now...........take him to da doctor poor baby

it may be a fracture

everytime u go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!
it crack and sprianed. u have to get him to the doctor or else it well get a infection.

tony de la hoya
Well first of before i start let's hope he get well soon! but most likely it is not broken.. if it is broke it will get bruised really bad and swell the bruising will be black and the bruising will start a few minutes after he fell on it he also will not be able to move it at all.... however it might be sprained and you will need some epson salt you can get it anywhere that will help the bruise go away and it will help the arm get better. but you are not sure if it is broke or not in other words sometimes really small bones break and it looks like it is just nothing but a sprain when it is not this is not something that happens all the time... it is a rare condition it has to happen when the person falls on a certain angle... but only an x ray will tell... remember i am not a doctor just using my college experience..... so dont take my words as if i was a doctor cause i am not yet.... but good luck to the both of you.

PS the pop you heard when he fell might be a bone cracking like when you crack your fingers! or a tiny fracture... or nothing but the echo on the floor.

Sounds like he may have a fracture. Glad to hear you are taking him to the doctor. In the meantime, it couldn't hurt to put some ice on it.

Robot #1
He could have a fracture, though in the absence of swelling or deformity he may have a nursemaids elbow (a subluxation which is a slight dislocation in the elbow joint) or possibly a sprain. It's reasonable to give him the night and see how he's doing in the morning. If he still won't move his elbow, but he has no focal tenderness or swelling, it would be reasonable to attempt to reduce the nursemaid's elbow. This is accomplished by holding onto the upper arm with one hand and holding onto the wrist with the other. You then gently flex the elbow all the way (until the wrist is almost touching the upper arm) while suppinating the wrist (which is turning the wrist in the same manner as you would if the patient was screwing a screw INTO a wall). I know this sounds complicated, but it really isn't. It is the most common reason for a toddler to not use his arm after an injury and in the absence of a fracture.

Good Luck
-Robot #1


He could possibly have a fracture. Just because he can move it, does not mean he didn't fracture it. I'd take him into a family care clinic or urgent care clinic tomarrow.
A kid I babysitt was riding on his skooter with his mom and his brother, when he took a sharp turn and fell. He landed on his arm and broke his wrist. He looked fine afterwards, but his mom took him in just incase. He was laughing, playing with toys, laying on his arms, and it turned out that it was in fact fractured and needed to be in a cast up to the middle of his upper arm.
When I was a kid and broke my collarbone for the first time, I played around relativly normally for a bit before my mom came to pick me up to take me to the doctors. I ended up in a brace and a sling for a month and a half or so.
Looks can be decieving.

Mel B
breaks hurt but you can move them

then again it could b a bad sprain

Take him to an Emergency Room at any hospital NOW!!!

I wouldn't even venture a guess on this. The only thing to do you are already going to do and that's taking him to a doctor. Probably better to just take him to the ER and get it xrayed unless your doctor has xray equiipment in the office. You'll end up at the hospital anyway, so just get him there as soon as you can. And don't try to move it or examine it as you may injure it further. Best wishes

Don't worry about it too much. Just put ice on it, comfort him, and bring him to a doctor ASAP. People break bones and recover all the time.

Injuries to elbows in growing children can be real tricky. Once damaged (not necessarily broken) this can lead to concern over proper growth of the arm and angel and use of the elbow. Often times a good orthopedist will want to do follow up work every few months with photos of growth (comparing the two arms and flexibility) over the early years until post puberty. Take any injury to that area seriously.

Add: How is your son? What did the doctor say? Hope tonight is smoother than last night and that he recovers well

It sounds like it might just be dislocated. I certainly would have it xrayed if he is still guarding when he wakes up.

It's cracked. I've seen this many times.

Well, by your description there seems to be no major dislocation or fracture in his arm. However, it is quite possible that he could have a hairline fracture, sprain, or strain in his arm with no outward signs besides his pain. The elbow has a very sensitive plexus of nerves on it (the 'funny bone') which could account for your son crying bloody murder.

However, since he isn't able to communicate to you effectively and you aren't able to tell what is causing him all his pain, it would probably be wise for you to get him to the ER for some x-rays. The doctor there could even just do some manipulation tests on the range of motion for his arm, give him an ice pack, and send him on his way. If you have a family doctor that you usually go to, you might give him a call for more advice. Until then, keep the arm immobilized.

Andrew M
If he can't rotate his arm (Meaning like being able to twist it and/or it hurts way to much to do so then theres a definite break. Also press on the thumb of your broken arm for a couple of seconds, if the color doesn't return as fast as the other's arm's thumb then theres another sign. You better go to the hospital or you have a risk of it healing back up deformed.
If you heard a pop or a grind when he fell then it probably is broken and you've done very well to get him to sleep. normally if the bone is broken then it is bruised and tender round the area of the break. what you could do whilst your husband is away is get a cold pack of Ice and place it on the affected area or wrap cardboard around it to keep the arm straight and padded so the break is not made any worse

Take him to the doctor

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