To feel like a failure in not spotting my DS's broken finger earlier?

(57 Posts)
JohFlow Tue 30-Jul-13 17:22:01

On the last day of term my son came back from school and said that during a football match he had dived for the ball (as goalie) and a friend had landed on top of his hand. I looked at the hand and it looked swollen but presumed it was just bruised. A few days later the bruising went black and I became more concerned but something came to mind that 'you should wait till the bruising subsides a little before having it checked'. This I did. Finger could be moved and my son did not seem in pain apart from the first day. When the bruising started to dissapate - it was much clearer that his finger was deformed.

I have just spend two days in the hospital having it checked out. I have been told that repair is easier in the first 7 days before the bone starts to knit together again shortly after. My DS has signs of some re-setting in the wrong position.

He has to have an operation tomorrow to put everything back in line.

Feel that my slow reactions have complicated things. sad

You weren't to know. If he'd been screaming in agony for days and you'd ignored it, that would be a different story but from what you've said he wasn't. Don't beat yourself up.

HSMMaCM Tue 30-Jul-13 17:26:16

Don't worry about it. It's so easy to miss these things. I have missed a few with my DD over the years.

Beastofburden Tue 30-Jul-13 17:28:26

Meh ds2 broke his wrist at school and they didn't notice for a whole day. You are not a doctor, how are you supposed to tell, if there is no pain?

Worse things happen, if he has a little op it's not the end of the world.

AnythingNotEverything Tue 30-Jul-13 17:29:07

Fingers are tricky. Don't beat yourself up. I'd have done the same.

thebody Tue 30-Jul-13 17:31:23

don't this totally happened to my dd while she was playing with dh, he accidentally landed in her hand.

it was a bit sore, a bit swollen and waited 3 days to go to A/E. 2 fingers were broken but had reset I'm a slightly bent position. one doc said operate, other not to bother as not so bad.

opted to not. her fingers are a bit bent but not overtly.

we still feel awful and I am a qualified nurse.

you do your best don't you. sometimes it doesn't always go the right way.

thefuturesnotourstosee Tue 30-Jul-13 17:35:16

My dad and step mum once failed to spot that my collar bone was broken despite me screaming out in pain almost everytime I moved for 10 days. Step mum told me I'd bumped myself and to stop whinging. never did like her glad dad no longer with her cow bag

It was only when I went home to my mum that she spotted it after about 5 minutes.

Seriously though its so easy to mistake it for something else you're not a failure. If you were an orthopedic surgeon I'd be more concerned but presumably you're not grin

LilacPeony Tue 30-Jul-13 17:36:13

This happened with my dd. I phoned NHS direct and they said that as she was able to bend her finger it was unlikely to be broken. The next day she was saying it hurt a bit rather a lot and she also attempted to climb monkey bars the next day. [confused) We found out about 6 weeks later after an x ray that it had been fractured, but to late to do anything by then. It has a nobbly bit on it, but it doesn't cause her any problems.

I missed dd2's broken collar bone - had no idea, she was only 2, complaining her neck was sore. Even the GP missed it, said something was wrong but not sure what. She had rolled off the sofa, but hadn't said it hurt until the next morning by which time I didn't link the two. It was the morning after that when we finally realised what it was.

LilacPeony Tue 30-Jul-13 17:37:55

a bit rather than a lot I mean. A GP also said it was unlikely to be broken as she could bend it when she saw it afterwards

NotYoMomma Tue 30-Jul-13 17:46:51

my mum told me not to skive when I broke my hand and left it a week in pain! over a week in fact

she only started to believe me when we went furniture shopping and I sat on a white sofa and she was like 'your hand is black!!!'

I was all hmm duh I told you it was broken.

I then only had to sneeze to get a day off school wink

NotYoMomma Tue 30-Jul-13 17:48:51

I always take the piss now though - like 'mum remeber the time you thought a broken bone equalled instant paralysis?'

Mum, remember when I told you I broke my hand and you didnt believe me? well now is one of those 'im not even lying' times

Whothefuckfarted Tue 30-Jul-13 17:59:38

I fell off a slide at the park when I was about 6 and broke my collarbone and the doctor who came to my house to look at it told my mum there was nowt wrong and I was just putting it on.

Needless to say she got a 2nd opinion. Don't beat yourself up.

Canidae Tue 30-Jul-13 18:04:02

My friend's mum broke her ankle and didn't realise for a week! If he was screaming in pain and you ignored him then YABU but unless you have x-ray eyes how would you know?

JohFlow Tue 30-Jul-13 18:07:59

Thank you all for that. It re-assures me a little that finding a break is sometimes not an exact science. It seems that there is still a 'myth' out there that if things can be moved then they cannot be broken. In my son's case it is the end of his lower knuckle that had been broken - so the knuckle space was largely unaffected; so movement was possible. I also had the feeling that something extra was 'wrong' but could not 'see' what that was until the swelling had gone down. Wish I had acted on instinct - in hindsight (guess I take that forward should anything happen later - fingers crossed it won't - excuse the pun! smile). I just hope that we can get a good, straight result with the operation now.

JohFlow Tue 30-Jul-13 18:10:21

grin x -ray eyes. I wonder if that little Russian girl who claims to have x-ray vision would have seen it?

Silverlace Tue 30-Jul-13 18:26:35

I feel better now after reading the number of missed broken collar bones. My DS aged 4 ran round for 2 days with a broken collarbone before I thought I had better get him checked just to reassure me nothing was wrong.

These things happen.

Caster8 Tue 30-Jul-13 18:34:04

For me, one of the worst things about parenting was knowing whether to consult a doctor or not. And when.
I found that when they are babies, it was fairly easy. Go to the doctor if worried. I was told by a doctor that doctors are always more than wiling to listen to concerns of parents, as they too do not want to have the loss of a child on their hands.

When children are older, decisions are more difficult imo. As others have said, it is not an exact science.

Thanks for the thread. As you say, broken bones or not is hard if not impossible for a parent to make a judgement call on.

2old2beamum Tue 30-Jul-13 18:48:34

I am a paediatric nurse/midwife and made DD hobble on a broken foot for 24 hours blush What a cocky bitch!!

pointythings Tue 30-Jul-13 18:48:42

Perfectly normal - I have managed to break my nose, a rib, my patella, 4 fingers, my big toe and a metatarsal, all without being immediately diagnosed. I was lucky, no displacement, just a lot of pain. As a competitive fencer I was sort of used to pain so thought nothing of it. blush

So far we have been cautious with the DDs though, especially since they do a lot of sport.

JohFlow Thu 01-Aug-13 12:25:49

Thank you all for that.

Son had to have manipulation of the knuckle under anaesthetic. Back in place now and bound to his ring finger. Still looks odd and having it checked by consultant again next week. Hope that it sets straight. Feel better now that the professionals have provided treatment. Think he has found it easier to deal with than I.

SelectAUserName Thu 01-Aug-13 12:32:44

Glad it's on the mend OP. I once broke my finger playing netball and the fracture wasn't immediately picked up on an x-ray, so even the professionals with diagnostic equipment don't get it right first time every time.

SalaciousBCrumb Thu 01-Aug-13 12:34:56

I broke my own finger and it took me a week to realise, and that was with me going "oooowwwwwwwwwwwww!" every time I tried to move it. blush

My little brother smashed my fingers in the heavy back door in a temper when I was 12. It hurt, but after the swelling appeared it was just uncomfortable. My mum didn't take me to get seen for days, they just looked badly bruised, and I could move them. They were broken! I was surprised they didn't hurt more.

Fingers are tricky, don't beat yourself up OP.

guiltyconscience Thu 01-Aug-13 12:41:01

Don't feel a failure I am a childrens staff nurse and I didn't realise my dd1 had broken her arm so what does that say about me hey!lol

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