My 2 1/2 year old daughter was running down a slightly sloped concrete driveway yesterday evening and fell on her knees. One knee was scraped fairly bad and bleeding slightly (no dripping blood, but definitely blood oozing.) We cleaned it up and put a bandage on it and thought she'd be fine. Well, she cried and complained a lot that evening, and didn't want to walk on it. I gave her some tylenol before she went to bed and figured she'd be ok by morning. Well, today she walks with the hurt leg slightly bent and on her toes (really awkward looking limp.) It is swollen just a little right on the kneecap. She is in much better spirits and is playing happily, just the awkward limp.
My question - -should I take her in and get x-rays, or wait another day? We do not have insurance and are pretty bad off financially right now, so whisking her off to urgent care isn't the first thing on my list (unless we need to, of course!) At the same time, if I wait to take her into a doctor on Monday morning, I don't want them to think I'm irresponsible for waiting so long! help anyone?
The limp would concern me (assuming she has never seen anyone limp before & couldn't be mimicking 'hurt' behavior).
Personally, I would continue giving an anti-inflamitory (like tylenol or ibuprophen), let her soak in a tub, use cold therapy. If she still was limping on Monday, I'd take her in then to her family doctor.
It's fine to wait another day or two. In my experience, fractures tend to swell very little. The child expresses pain, and a reluctance to use it, but more often than not, it looks just fine on the outside. That said, it is possible for them to swell, and because of the risk of it, most places won't cast for several days anyway. Oh, and slight fractures may take a day or two (or sometimes longer) to manifest on xray. They would xray her right away, but since she isn't in terrific pain right now, it doesn't hurt to wait. It may save doctor visits and bills and further xrays in the long run.
Also, 2.5 is the perfect age to not forget. It still hurts a little, and she may be favoring it because of the scrape. Dd1 had a minor elbow scrape that she babied for quite a long time when she was that age. I'm not saying she's faking or anything, just that the way she is walking, etc, may not be true pain, but rather the fear/memory/expectation of it. Do remember how it feels to bend a skinned knee? I always hated that when I was a kid.
I'd encourage her to take it easy, though be laid back about it so as not to fuel it if it is psychological. Just read her lots of books, lets her play in the bath, things to keep her off her feet and resting. Keep an eye on her, and if your mama instincts say that she just isn't acting right, take her in.
"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."
Thanks everyone. As the day has progressed she is using it more and more. Just1More - I think you're right about the fear factor. When she seems really distracted and absorbed with playing, she walks almost totally fine. But if she's been sitting still for a while she acts scared to bend her leg or stand up. I'm sure it feels stiff, too, which would add to the fear thing. I'm going to continue to monitor it and remind her to take it easy, and we will see how she is by Monday. If it's still bad we will take her to our doctor.