#1 Ranked Children’s Hospital by U.S. News & World Report
MyPatients provides referring primary care providers with secure access to their patients’ information.
Boston Children's has launched the world's 1st program dedicated to offering hand transplants to children who qualify.
Innovation insider is a semi-monthly e-newsletter analyzes innovations at Boston Children’s, other academic medical centers and from industry.
Read the latest blog by a Boston Children's doctor, clinician or staff member.
There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
A hip fracture should be treated quickly and correctly—the hip is the body’s connection to the legs and is crucial for movement.
Common signs and symptoms of a broken hip can include:
• pain or swelling in the hip or groin
• an obvious deformity or uneven leg lengths
• inability to stand or walk
• limited range of motion in the hip area; outward turning of the leg
• bruising (may indicate damage to blood vessels)
• A break in a bone usually occurs from trauma, a fall or a direct blow.
• In a closed fracture, the bone is broken but the skin is still intact.
• A complete fracture is a fracture involving the entire cross-section of the bone.
• In an open (compound) fracture, the bone exits and is visible through the skin; or a deep wound exposes the bone
through the skin, increasing the risk of infection.
• softer bones: Because children’s bones are softer than those of adults, they tend to absorb force more readily and
therefore break less easily.
• quicker healing: A child’s break heals much faster than an adult’s break. And the younger the child, the faster the
healing. This is good news for recovery, but it also means that your child should get medical and/or surgical attention
quickly to ensure that it heals in the correct position.
• growth plates vulnerable: Children have open growth plates (physes)—areas of cartilage from which bone grows—
at several sites in the pelvis as well as at the head of the thigh bone. In performing surgery on broken bones in
children, surgeons must consider and account for these growth plates.
• better bone remodeling capacity: Bone remodeling involves the absorption of bone tissue and the simultaneous
depositing of new bone; a bone’s continuous self-renewal, self-healing and self-realignment, partially through
reorientation of the growth plate. In kids’ fractures, the bone’s remodeling capability is usually very good, so poor
alignment (mal-union) is rare.
• less residual stiffness: Any stiffness from being in a cast readily dissipates in children, whose tissues are more
A risk for developing a fracture increases if he has:
• trauma from a car crash, accident, sports injury, fall or physical abuse
• low mineral content in his bones
• a genetic disorder that affects his bone metabolism and muscle mass
• endocrine dysfunction
• poor nutrition and/or is overweight
• a lack of calcium in his diet
• a previous history of fracture(s)
Hip fractures in teens are commonly due to sports injuries. When a hip is fractured, other structures housed by the pelvic bones can get injured, too. These can include:
• the lower portion of the intestines and rectum
• the urinary bladder and the reproductive organs
Note: Boston Children’s Bone Health Program provides comprehensive evaluations of children and adolescents who have, or are at risk for, low bone density.
If your child is diagnosed with a broken hip, you may feel a bit overwhelmed. It can be easy to lose track of the questions that occur to you. Lots of parents find it helpful to jot down questions as they arise—that way, when you talk to your child’s doctors, you can be sure that all your concerns are addressed. If your child is older, he may want to ask questions, too.
Some of the questions you may want to ask include:
• What bone or bones in the hip has my child broken?
• Are other tests needed to diagnose his fracture?
• Is there any damage to his nerves or blood vessels?
• What actions might you take after you confirm a diagnosis?
• Is this going to affect his growth plate, and his normal growth?
• How long will it take for him to heal?
• Will he need rehab or physical therapy?
• Will there be restrictions on my child’s activities? If so, for how long?
• Will there be long-term effects? Pain? Arthritis?
• What is the follow-up care plan?
If you’re teen with a broken hip, you have a lot to cope with. Besides the typical issues any teenager faces—from social acceptance to body changes and more—you’ll also have to deal with medical appointments and procedures, finding alternative ways to get around, keeping your cast or sling safe, clean and dry, and limiting your activities for a period of time.
If you’re usually active, to be experiencing pain or sitting on the sidelines for a while can be depressing and frustrating. If you feel down, angry or anxious through this important time in your life, speak to your doctor, parent or counselor to get help—they’re all on your team, and they want to help. And remember that Boston Children’s Orthopedic Center is always here for you, too.
It’s hard to prevent a child from breaking a bone—especially if your child is very active and plays sports. But the value of kids’ participation in sports and play greatly outweighs the risk of breaking a bone.
While you can’t prevent your child from breaking a bone, you can help him minimize his risk with simple, common-sense steps:
• See that your child wears proper sports and safety gear, including proper footwear if he is a runner.
• See that he wears his seat belt in the car.
• Make sure your baby or toddler is secured in his car seat.
Make sure he has plenty of calcium in his diet (milk, yogurt, cheese, fish, and leafy green vegetables are high-calcium foods)
• Limit sodas and sugary snacks.
• Have regular sit-down mealtimes, and limit his between-meal snacking
Discourage prolonged time watching TV, playing computer games or other sedentary activities.
• Encourage your young athlete—especially if he’s a runner—to do some cross-training to decrease the possibility
of stress fractures
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”