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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Broken leg in 3 year old: what to expect?

(17 Posts)
TheDetective Sat 16-Apr-16 23:45:26

Has anyone had a 3 year old with a broken leg?
It's just happened today, and we have to wait until Monday to go to fracture clinic where I will know more information.

I'm trying to get my head around the practical side (that's my coping mechanism). I'm a single parent with a 10 month old also.

My 3 year old is so boisterous, running, jumping, always moving. All our activities and groups revolve around this.

How long is he likely to be completely immobile for? Will he be able to attend nursery at any point? At what point can normal activity resume?

The break is small, just under his knee. Likely from someone jumping on him (he was on a trampoline at soft play).

So far all I have come up with practical wise is using the double buggy again (I'd put it away).

I have no idea how we are going to fill months (??) and months with a toddler who can't walk. Moving is his life. He hates drawing and arts and crafts.

My maternity leave ended a couple of weeks back, and I'm on annual leave. I was hoping to enjoy our last few weeks together. sad

NoMudNoLotus Sun 17-Apr-16 00:01:16

Fear not ! They adjust amazingly thanks

SofiaAmes Sun 17-Apr-16 00:04:03

Yes. My ds got multiple bouts of transient synovitis (inflamed hip joint which meant he couldn't put any weight on one leg). They are remarkably good when young (much better than us crotchety adults) at adjusting and hopping and making sure that you know that their pain will be completely alleviated if you just feed them ice cream and candy.

LifeIsGoodish Sun 17-Apr-16 00:27:20

It won't be months and months. If it's a simple break it will be healed within 6w. Once his leg is immobilised the pain will diminish, and once he is no longer in pain he will find some way to be mobile. The buggy will be essential, though.

Little children are extraordinarily resilient.

FullMoonTonight Sun 17-Apr-16 10:29:08

My DD broke her leg at 3 at a baby gym by jumping from the end of a bench. Full leg cast for 6 weeks and so back to the buggy for school drops for DSs. But she walked well with the cast and when it was taken off didn't need any physio. Dr said young children recover amazingly in this sort of situation. No complications now she is older, either.

TheDetective Sun 17-Apr-16 12:48:17

Thanks for the advice!

When you say she walked with the cast, was this okay? And when did that happen?

He's had a terrible night, screaming in pain. I'm currently getting the run around n

TheDetective Sun 17-Apr-16 12:50:25

From 111/a&e in terms of pain relief.

They are saying all he can have is paracetamol and ibuprofen, but it doesn't seem enough, particularly at night, although he's been intermittently crying this morning too.

Did your children attend nursery at all?

FullMoonTonight Sun 17-Apr-16 17:53:51

Re walking, no one medical commented adversely or told us to restrict her. When it was time for the cast to be removed, she walked into the room and walked again as soon as it came off (apparently that's not unusual for a child that age). She wasn't at nursery then but did attend nursery a little later with a broken arm (slightly different I suppose as no mobility issues there).

She had a very bad night in hospital with a back slab before they put the proper cast on her leg but was much better at home.

SofiaAmes Sun 17-Apr-16 19:42:27

Absolutely diabolical that a small child is left in pain for a weekend when they know that his leg is broken. The NHS really is in a mess.

TheDetective Sun 17-Apr-16 21:15:20

That's helpful to know.

I've not got any experience on children in plaster, at the minute the cast he has on can still allow him to bend his leg, thus cause the pain. Am I right in thinking the cast will stop this movement? Then I can let him get on with finding his own way around?

Eventually got codeine for him, from the OOH GP, which from my first call at 10.30 this morning, took until 4pm and several calls to get it prescribed. So when we got the OOH GP appt, I had to drag a 3 year old with a broken leg who just wanted a nap, out of the house, in the car seat, in to the doctors, for a 5 second consultation (he needs stronger pain relief? Yes. Here's a prescription for codeine. Thank you').

The a&he paeds nurse who I spoke to this morning insisted that there was no stronger pain relief for children than paracetamol and ibuprofen. If I had the time, I'd complain. Right now I'm just grateful he's comfortable (and finally sleeping).

Cast on tomorrow, and I can find out what happens next.

Thanks again!

Undercooked Mon 18-Apr-16 07:25:43

One of my DDs broke her leg at 3. She was in a cast for six weeks. For the first week or so she was in pain and couldn't really move and it was very hard but once the pain went she could move about and she went to nursery.

Order a child sized cast cover for the bath from Amazon now. They quickly get smelly without washing!

GreenMarkerPen Mon 18-Apr-16 07:33:19

I'm a bit shocked about the codeine. it shouldn't be given outside hospital setting to children as it can cause breathing problems.

Lorelaiandrory Mon 18-Apr-16 07:38:00

My daughter broke her leg at 2.5 at a soft play. She was in an open cast for 2 weeks, then no cast and was walking again 2 weeks after that.

She just sat and played with toys never tried to stand on it but did drag her leg round.

It never really hurt though unless she tried to use it, even when she did it there was no pain until she tried to walk. So I can't help with pain relief sorry. However when they took the cast off her leg became weightless and then she cried a lot. Also I expected her to be able to walk that day but it took a few weeks.

But it was an awful time for me as I felt sick seeing her leg in the cast. She was potty training at the time too so that was a challenge to keep the cast dry. We just top and tailed her no bathing.

pussinwellyboots Mon 18-Apr-16 10:11:42

Hi there,

My ds fractured his femur aged 3 and again aged 5, when he was 3 he was in a spica cast which ran from his waist down to his ankle. We bought a second hand side by side pushchair - his brother is 2 years younger ( large all terrain one) and nursery (school pre school used to SN) were very good at having him in. He slithered around the floor and pulled himself up to standing eg on the sand tray. They do just cope but my back found it hard work lifting him up the stairs etc.

When he was 5 he had a child sized Zimmer frame to help him walk but when he was 3 they said that they were too young to use that equipment! You could always ask for a physio referral but in our case they said that he would manage on his own.

Hope that helps - you will get through it and it will get a bit easier each day.

TheDetective Tue 19-Apr-16 12:20:46

Thanks for the advice! Full cast on yesterday.

He's acting like it doesn't even exist! He's been up and down the stairs... All kinds....

Here's a picture 😂

He wasn't falling! This is how he gets up and down!

LifeIsGoodish Thu 21-Apr-16 06:40:36

Aren't children amazing?!

Have you got him a waterproof sleeve thingy for washing?

How long is it on for?

Be prepared for a skanky, peeling, limb when the cast is removed. It's quite normal, because the limb won't have been cleaned for so long, and the skin that naturally sloughs away won't have been able to do so.

Frogqueen13 Thu 21-Apr-16 06:49:54

I'm pretty sure codeine is not licenced for under 12's, but he looks like he has the hang of moving now, good luck

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