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Health Information For Parents
Broken bones have an amazing ability to heal, especially in children. New bone forms within a few weeks of the injury, although full healing can take longer.
There are three stages of bone healing: the inflammatory, reparative, and remodeling stages.
When a bone breaks, the body sends out signals for special cells to come to the injured area. Some of these special cells cause the injured area to become inflamed (red, swollen, and painful). This tells the body to stop using the injured part so it can heal.
Other cells that come to the area during this stage form a
(blood clot) around the broken bone. This is the first bridge between the pieces of the broken bone.
The reparative stage starts within about a week of the injury. A soft
(a type of soft bone) replaces the blood clot that formed in the inflammatory stage. The callus holds the bone together, but isn’t strong enough for the body part to be used.
Over the next few weeks, the soft callus becomes harder. By about 2–6 weeks, this hard callus is strong enough for the body part to be used.
The remodeling stage starts around 6 weeks after the injury. In this stage, regular bone replaces the hard callus. If you saw an X-ray of the healing bone, it would look uneven. But over the next few months, the bone is reshaped so that it goes back to looking the way it did before the injury.
Casts and splints can hold broken bones in place while they heal. New hard bone forms in about 3–6 weeks, and the cast or splint usually can come off.
A bone might not heal as well if someone:
To help your child recover from a broken bone, make sure that he or she:
A broken bone is a common, treatable childhood injury. Most breaks heal well, and kids can get back to all the activities they enjoyed before the injury.
Many kids will have a broken bone at some point. Here’s what to expect.
A broken bone needs emergency medical care. Here’s what to do if you think your child just broke a bone.
Casts keep bones and other tissues in place while they heal. Here’s what to expect, and how to care for casts.
Learn about broken collarbones (or clavicle fractures), a common sports injury in kids.
Bones are tough stuff – but even tough stuff can break. Find out what happens when a bone fractures.
What happens when you break a bone?
This article for teens has tips on taking care of a cast so it keeps working as it should.
A broken collarbone is one of the most common types of broken bones. Find out how it can happen – and how to treat and avoid fractures.
Some injuries will heal best if a cast is used. Find out how they work and how to take care of them in this article for kids.
You probably can’t waitÂ toÂ get back to your normal activities, but it takes a while for a limb that’s been in a cast to finish healing. Here’s what to expect.
Sprains and strains are common injuries, especially for people who play hard or are intoÂ sports. Find out what they are and how to recuperate from one.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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