possible broken wrist? how do you tell? - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-14-2008, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think I may have broken DD's wrist. We were at the beach and she was flopping around on the sand and reached out her arms for me to pull her up and somehow I only got one arm and we both sort of twisted wrong and I felt a little "crack" and she started crying. Whimpering, then full-on screaming. I feel awful. I wanted to take her to the hospital but that made her even more upset, she just wanted to go home, so after about 1/2 hour of cuddles in the car she finally let go of her wrist long enough for me to strap her into the carseat and we came home - she's been lying on the couch ever since. She did go to sleep for a while and she's awake now, seemingly feeling ok except she won't move. She's perfectly happy to have me stuff food in her mouth though. I just don't know if I should push the issue and take her to a clinic or not - her wrist isn't swollen, she can make a fist and grasp a finger in her hand, but it's obviously painful. Would it be bad to wait until tomorrow to see how it is? How can you tell the difference between a sprain and a break? She is nearly three.

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Old 10-14-2008, 10:06 PM
 
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Last year my DD (11yo now) broke her wrist. She fell and came in from playing, and sat there holding her wrist. I put ice on it and gave her Motrin. She didn't want to play. She didn't want to read. She didn't want to do anything. It didn't bruise. It didn't swell. I was out of town and called DH and he said if she could squeeze my finger, it wasn't broken. Well, the Motrin wasn't helping and she was just sitting there. So I took her to the ER. It was broken (both bones). So the squeeze test isn't necessarily proving anything. My DH was VERY surprised since he'd broken one wrist twice and the other once when he was a child and thought that it was THE test for breaks.

But since you were twisting, is it possible that something was dislocated instead of breaking? Not that that would make it any better, since they'd still have to put something back. If you haven't gone in by now, I'd wait until morning and then call the doctor. See how she is overnight. Also if you gave her something for the pain and it wore off and was horrible, I'd say bring her in.

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Old 10-15-2008, 12:33 AM
 
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I have a friend whose son (older, like 8 yo) just broke his wrist. She took him to the ER and they determined it was broken but won't cast it for a day or so. I guess to let the swelling go down or something.

So I think that if it isn't bothering her a lot (like she can't sleep due to the pain), I would wait until morning. If you go to the ER, you'll end up sitting there for hours and then even if it is broken, they might have to wait to cast it anyway. It seems like it would be easier to go see a doctor in the morning.

But I would definitely take her in. I don't think you can tell the difference between a sprain and a break without an x-ray.
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, one way to tell the difference is if it's curable with a lollipop, it's probably not broken.

Yeah, this happened. She screamed and cried and did NOT want to get off the couch to pee, much less go in the car, but then DH went and got her a lollipop from the corner store before we left so she'd have something to distract her in the car and somehow it miraculously cured her between our house and the hospital. When we got to emerg DH took her out and she just slid her arm out of the car seat strap as usual and DH and I kind of looked at each other like "ummm..." and DH played around with her arm for a bit and not even a wince. When she started flapping her arms like a bird we were convinced so home we went. I don't know what that was all about but I suspect it had something to do with being overtired from not having a nap yesterday.

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Old 10-15-2008, 02:37 AM
 
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The only way to know for sure if something is a break is with an x-ray.

Surviving sleep deprivation one day at a time with dd (Oct '11) & ds (Oct '08).

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Old 10-15-2008, 03:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spughy View Post
Well, one way to tell the difference is if it's curable with a lollipop, it's probably not broken.

Yeah, this happened. She screamed and cried and did NOT want to get off the couch to pee, much less go in the car, but then DH went and got her a lollipop from the corner store before we left so she'd have something to distract her in the car and somehow it miraculously cured her between our house and the hospital. When we got to emerg DH took her out and she just slid her arm out of the car seat strap as usual and DH and I kind of looked at each other like "ummm..." and DH played around with her arm for a bit and not even a wince. When she started flapping her arms like a bird we were convinced so home we went. I don't know what that was all about but I suspect it had something to do with being overtired from not having a nap yesterday.
Not always! DS (14 mos.) just broke his wrist (fell and caught himself with his hands) and he didn't cry any more than a bumped head and then went on to play for a week before we xrayed it. We finally had it done because he didn't use it when crawling (but he did use it for everything else inc. grasping, flailing and climbing). I'd just go get the xray done at your pediatrician to be safe, kids bones are different than ours and so are their reactions to pain.
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