My almost 8 year old fractured his tibia skiing and is looking at the next 5-6 weeks with a cast and crutches. He'll heal fine, but he's used to being active, independent, and being able to play and run around with friends often.
We've relaxed our screen-time rules, are playing lots of games with him, and are going out of our way to get him to spend time with friends, but he's still so sad and upset and generally grumpy and emotional. I know this is to be expected, I just feel so bad for him and would love some suggestions from those who may have been through something similar in helping him.
He has a habit of feeling sorry for himself sometimes, and a broken leg is not helping. He'll do things like say "no one wants to see me" or "it's all my fault I broke my leg" or "you think I'm stupid". It's horrible, and I honestly don't know why he has this kind of orientation. All I do is continually reassure him that it's not his fault, yes, his friends want to see him, etc. but then this just turns into a back and forth argument that goes nowhere. I'd be lying if I said I never got frustrated and just threw up my hands and gave up.
Help me help a sad kid, please :)
I spent 3 months in a full leg cast, bent at the knee, when I was 16. And then another 3 months after that still on crutches.
It sucked. But after a couple of weeks of moping and feeling sorry for myself I got bored and got up off the couch and went out.
Your son will learn to get around with a cast and lead an almost normal life, even on crutches.
Stuff that helped me. The stuff you're already doing. More screen time. Books, Games. Having friends over.
Maybe have active family fun time? Once the pain has subsided, maybe invent games to get him on his feet.
Time how long it takes each of the family members to get across the house on his crutches. Or have races across the room hoping on one foot.
If he is at all active, he will learn to be active in a cast and on crutches. Once he realizes that it just slows him down a bit but doesn't stop him, he may be fine. Just try not to be fearful that he will hurt himself. The cast should protect him quite well.
Me 40 . Partner to mamacolleen 33 . DD born July 2009 . Twin boys born Nov 2012.
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I totally feel your pain. My 9 yr old broke his leg and is in a full leg cast, playing baseball. He is a very active kid too,and has broken this same bone 3 times playing various sports. He will be in a cast for 8 weeks, a boot for 2. Honestly, 5 to 6 weeks is not too bad. Can he put weight on it? If not, once he can your life and his will be greatly improved! Devon's last break he was just in a walking cast and still played and ran around with friends. More of an annoyance than anything. We are sad but trying to come to grips with it. Trying to look into the water proof cast cover so that he can be around the water, think this will help!
Hi there .. I posted this back in March so he's been out of the cast for almost two months now. He ended up having the full leg cast for about a month and then a half leg cast for another month. He walked on the half leg cast with a shoe for the majority of the time he had it. When he got it off he had one of those boots that he wore for a couple of weeks when we went out.
The problem now is that he's still limping .. we finally got him into physical therapy and we're hoping he'll be ready to play soccer in August. He grew something like three inches while he was in the cast, plus he has a very tight body type, if that makes sense. He's not very flexible (can hardly touch his toes). So he shot up, tightened up, and had muscle atrophy in the broken leg. Poor kid. The physical therapist says he'll be fine, he just needs to keep up on his exercises and stretches.
So, this has been a much longer proposition than I expected, but I guess that's just how it goes.
My son broke his leg (at a younger than yours but also at a growth spurt) and he lagged physically for about six months after his cast was off. We revised his day camp plans as he wasn't able to keep up with kids his age at the beginning of summer, but was fine by the end. He also fatigued easily until his muscles rebuilt somewhat.
The doctor also told us we could have a CT scan done about a week before the cast is to come off just to make sure it's healed, as the x-rays can't show the complete picture. I wonder if this might be an option for you even though it's 2 months out, just to see that the bone is completely back to normal and ready to play sports. My son was so anxious to get back to sports that we let him play, I wish we would have waited, and could have possibly avoided another break.
Yes, my ds was 4 when he broke his leg (skiing) and it was a real nightmare. He went to physical therapy after getting the cast off and it did take some time, but he is fine now, and has been for a long time (he's 7 now). Mostly he had to learn to trust that his leg was OK again and really use it. Just yesterday he was playing a jumping on one leg game and I noticed it was his previously broken leg he was jumping on. He had favored it for so long, it was really good to realize he treats both legs completely equally now.
Poor little guy. :(
My son broke his arm badly last year. He was in a cast for almost 8 weeks, right at the start of baseball season. (He's big time into baseball!) It was really depressing for him also - no swimming, no baseball, couldn't write easily for several weeks...
We just gave him a lot of TLC, asked people to help him out, had a special 'party' for him at the house so he had extra friends around. We still took him to every baseball practice and game - he was base coach/bat boy. I was so proud of him for that!
Hang in there - he'll heal quickly and be back to his active self before you know it!
Wife to the sweetest man in the world and Mama to 2 precious boys (7 and 9), and one little miracle girl (born June '13)
DD broke her ankle 3 weeks into summer when she was 8. She is a total active and outdoorsy kid and that meant it pretty much blew her summer (though I was impressed at how much she could get around at the playground with the cast--I had a fit when she crutched off with friends and I got distracted talking to the friend's mom and next thing I know she's waving at me from the top of the web rope climing structure!).
We went to a lot more "touristy" places (like the zoo and aquarium) than we normally do, and I rented her a wheelchair. 3 weeks before she got her walking boot, I discovered that I could have rented one of the little scooter things (not motorized, but the ones that look like a little bike where you rest a leg on it and wheel yourself along) for about $10/week--if I had known that earlier we would have gone more places with that thing.
I let her two best friends' parents spoil her to death. She got to go see a lot of movies, more sleepovers than usual, ect.
It was kind of a bummer summer though.
BTW I don't know if you ever broke anything as a kid or adult (I hadn't) but my DD was thrilled when she got her leg cast off and she had a hairy pirate hobbit foot/leg! (At least she wasn't freaked, but it would have been nice to get a warning) I guess because of the cast, the hair isn't bleached/rubbed thin like normal, so she had a lot of fun with that once she was in the boot. She wanted to show everyone and liked to pet it while watching TV. My kid is very weird.