Bone Characteristics

Fractures in children have some unique characteristics. The psychological and physical trauma aside, children also need to cope with any effects of the trauma on their future growth. The biomechanical characteristics of the growing skeleton are different [2].

Children’s bones:

  • Are less brittle, more malleable
  • Allow a plastic type of ‘bowing’ injury

This may lead to:

A subtle bow to a bone (plastic deformation)

Fig 1: Plastic ‘bowing’ fracture

An incomplete fracture (greenstick) fracture

Fig 2: Greenstick fracture

Buckle fractures

Fig 3: Buckle fracture

All occur more often in children than adults.