Broken bones

When and where to get help

Children's Wisconsin offers same-day care for broken bones at locations across southeast Wisconsin.

  • For emergency care: If your child's broken bone has severe pain, bleeding, or the bone is bent the wrong way; go straight to our emergency room. An orthopedic specialist always is on call. If there is severe bleeding or your child is experiencing other symptoms, call 911. Find our emergency room.
  • For care before 4:00 p.m. on weekdays: Call (877) 607-5280 to make an appointment with an orthopedic specialist at one of our clinics in Delafield, Greenfield, Mequon or at our main hospital in Milwaukee.
  • For care after 4:00 p.m. on weeknights and weekends: Visit any of our urgent care locations.

Signs and symptoms

If your child falls or is injured, here are some common signs and symptoms that might mean he or she has broken a bone:

  • You or your child heard a snapping sound during the injury
  • There's swelling, bruising, or tenderness around the injured body part
  • It hurts when you or your child moves, touches, or presses on it. If it is a leg injury, it probably hurts to put weight on it.
  • The injured body part doesn't look normal and might even be bent the wrong way. With a severe break, the bone might come right through the skin.

Growth plates

Kids can get a cast put on a broken bone anywhere, but the specialists at Children's also know to look for fractures in growth plates, which sit at the ends of their bones. If growth plates don't heal properly, it can lead to long-term problems.

Video: Learn more about growth plates

 

Why choose Children's?

When a child or teen breaks a bone, they need specific treatment because of their developing bones, especially if the break involves a growth plate in the bone. Our pediatric orthopedic specialists have the advanced training and expertise to recognize and treat children's fractures, and minimize the risk of problems that could affect growth and function.

At Children's, we understand that the right treatment really depends on the location, the type of break, and the patient's age. Some breaks will heal well with limited care, but others will need surgery to heal correctly.

Have questions or concerns?

Nurse line: To help ensure that we provide the best care for kids and families, the Orthopedic Center offers a special nurse line at (414) 266-2411. This message center allows families to have their questions or concerns addressed as soon as possible. An orthopedic nurse will respond within 1-2 hours or the next business day. Nurses are available 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, although messages can be left anytime.

Making patients (and parents) more comfortable

Our clinics are staffed with a team of specialists all specifically trained to provide the most qualified care for your child's injury, in as comfortable a manner as possible. Pain management is tailored to the age of the patient and the extent of the injury. If you child's injury requires surgery, our team of surgeons is always on call to treat your child's injury quickly.

Fortunately, most fractures only require a cast. Our patients can choose from a wide array of colors, including sparkles. A waterproof cast may also be appropriate.

It's important to know what your options are. We can provide expert opinions to verify or give more information about an initial diagnosis. Contact orthopedics today.

Leg in cast

When Hana's mom took her to Children's to get a second opinion about her broken ankle they found out that she had a growth plate fracture. Learn how these fractures can lead to later complications and the importance of seeking out a pediatric expert for fracture care. Read Hana's story.

Cast removal

 

Watch how easy and painless it is to have a cast removed.