Greenstick Fracture: Types, Diagnosis, Symptoms, Treatment, & FAQs

A greenstick fracture occurs when a bone is bent and broken, instead of breaking completely. The fracture looks like what happens when you try to break a small “green” branch in a tree. It is an incomplete fracture with a transverse fracture line that leads to the destruction of the outer layer of the bone (cortex), which extends to the nucleus or bone marrow without altering the opposite cortex. Thus, the discontinuity is only on one side. Most Greenstick fractures occur in children under 10 years old. This type of fracture is more common in children because their bones are softer and more flexible than those of adults. Even slight fractures of the green stem are usually immobilized in a cast. A cast not only contains fragments of broken bones for healing, but also prevents fractures when the child falls on them.


Following are the types of greenstick fractures

  • Greenstick Fracture of Clavicle:

If a child is exposed to a direct blow to the upper chest, chest, shoulder or hand, greenstick fracture of the clavicle may occur. The bones of the collarbone become stronger at the age of 20, which means that even teenagers can have these fractures.

  • Greenstick Fracture of Wrist:

This fracture occurs when a child falls from a height, lands on the palm, or hits the palm of his hand directly. The lower third or middle third of the radius or bones of the forearm breaks in the wrist.

  • Greenstick Fracture of Tibia: In a tibial fracture, the middle third or lower third of the tibial shaft is broken. This can happen when a child suffers a direct blow to the leg or lands on his leg from a height.


The doctor performs a physical examination and looks for tenderness, swelling, deformity or deafness. To check for nerve damage, sometimes with bone lesions, your doctor may ask you to move your fingers or perform other similar tests. They can also control the joints above and below the wound. To make sure your green stick is broken, you can recommend an x-ray.

Greenstick Fracture


Greenstick Fracture Symptoms

The symptoms of a Greenstick fracture vary depending on the severity of the fracture. They can only develop bruising or general tenderness in lighter fractures. In other cases, a significant curvature at the end or in the broken region, accompanied by swelling and pain. Symptoms also depend on the location of the lesion. For example, if the injury occurs on the finger, it may not be possible to move the finger for a long time. An arm fracture can also be painful and cause swelling and tenderness while maintaining mobility Green stick Fractures in children occur more often during a fall. Arm fractures are more common than leg fractures because the usual reaction is to throw the arms to catch them during a fall.


Treatment Depending on the severity of the green fracture, the doctor may need to straighten the bone by hand so that it can heal properly. During this procedure analgesics and possibly tranquilizers will be administered to the patient. Fractures of the green stick present a high risk of complete fracture of the bone. As a result, many of these types of fractures are immobilized in a jet during healing. Sometimes the doctor may decide that a removable splint can work, especially if the fracture is largely healed. The advantage of a splint is that the child can remove it to wash or shower. X-rays will be needed in a few weeks for the fracture to heal properly to verify bone alignment and determine when a cast is no longer needed. Most fractures of the green stem require four to eight weeks for complete healing, depending on the child’s fracture and age.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a greenstick break?

A greenstick fracture is a tear or a fracture on one side of a long bone in the arm or leg. The crack or fracture does not extend across the bone. It takes its name from the way a fresh green twig behaves when folded.

Who is most affected by the greenstick fracture?

Children are more prone to fractures than Greenstick because their bones are softer and less fragile than those of adults.

What is the frequency of Greenstick fractures?

Greenstick fractures are very common. Every year, millions of children are affected in the United States. A break of the green stick often occurs when a child falls and tries to break the deal with his arms.

Can I prevent Greensticks fractures?

It is possible to reduce the risk of fractures for the child by providing adequate safety equipment for the sport and trying to prevent falls or other injuries that cause fractures.

What are the causes of Greenstick fracture?

Greenstick fractures result from the bending of a bone. Any force that bends a long bone, such as an arm or leg, without completely breaking it, can break the green pin. Instead of breaking into two pieces, the bone breaks on one side. Greenstick fractures can be caused by many factors, such as participation in sports, motor vehicle accidents, and falls.

What are the symptoms of greenstick fractures?

Symptoms of greenstick fractures include:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Pain
  • Tenderness

The symptoms of a greenstick fracture depend on the severity of the crack.

How long does a Greenstick fracture take to heal?

The healing depends on the location of the fracture and the severity of the fracture. For example, a simple fracture of the arch for 2 or 3 weeks requires a plaster cast and is almost completely cured in 4 weeks. Children recover about half the time an adult needs to recover from a similar injury.

When to see a doctor?

Consult your doctor if your child has persistent pain in an injured limb. See a doctor immediately if a child is unable to support their weight or if pain, distortion, and swelling are noticeable.


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