Your child has had an injury to the arm which has been diagnosed as a buckle fracture. This injury is treated like a sprain and will not cause any long-term problems. The following information aims to explain what a buckle fracture is and how to support a child while it heals.

What is a buckle fracture?

These are the most common wrist injuries in children, often following a fall on the outstretched hand. You may hear it described as a green stick fracture but in reality, it is more of a bend in the bone.

At first, your child will have less movement of their wrist than usual. It will also feel tender.

The bones of a child are more likely to bend than break. This is because they are softer and the periosteum (a thick covering on the bone) is stronger and thicker.

How long does it take to heal?

The bone will heal in 2 to 4 weeks depending on the child’s age. We have given your child a wrist support (splint) to make it more comfortable during this time. This will also reduce the chance of further injury.

The splint should be worn for 3 weeks and should only be taken off for washing. The splint should be kept dry and clean, to keep its strength and to do its job.

There is no need to seek further advice unless:

  • Your child is complaining of more pain despite simple pain relief such as paracetamol and/or ibuprofen being given.
  • The splint becomes damaged.

In the first few weeks after the splint is removed the wrist is still likely to be a little sore and stiff and muscles slightly weaker. Your child should not take part in strenuous activities or sports until they have no pain with normal wrist movements.

If your child is reluctant to use the wrist, please contact the Trauma Service, the number is at the end of this page.

Any X-rays taken are looked at by our radiologists. If there is any concern that there may be a more serious injury, you will be contacted and asked to bring your child in for a follow up appointment.

Contact information

If you have any worries or concerns following your child’s discharge from hospital, please contact:

Trauma Service

Tel: 0300 422 5269

Monday to Friday, 10:00am to 2:00pm


You can also contact your GP or NHS 111 for advice.

NHS 111

Tel: 111

Further information

Printable version of this page

Buckle fracture GHPI1327_03_24 Department: Trauma and Orthopaedics Review due: March 2027 PDF, 317.9 KB, 3 pages
Reference number GHPI1327_03_24
Department Trauma and Orthopaedics
Review due March 2027