What are Buckle Fractures?

2 August 2017

Playing sports, climbing trees, riding bicycles and running around with friends makes injuries practically inevitable for children. Luckily, their bones are much more flexible and soft than those of an adult, which means they are less likely to end up with a broken bone.

So at what point should you become worried that a fracture of the bone has actually occurred? Here at WristSupports.co.uk, we have prepared a quick and comprehensive guide on how to recognise and treat a buckle fracture, the most common type of bone fracture among children.

What Is a Buckle Fracture?

A buckle fracture, also known as a torus fracture, is an incomplete fracture of the bone that occurs when the bone compresses and crunches down upon itself, causing it to crumple on only one side.

Because children have softer, less brittle bones, one side of the bone may buckle upon itself without disrupting the other side.

Buckle Fracture
X-Ray of a Buckle Fracture

Signs of a Buckle Fracture

A common type of buckle fracture is known as a "torus fracture". The word torus is derived from the Latin word "Tori", meaning swelling or protuberance, which is also one of the most common signs of this type of bone fracture. The usual symptoms of a buckle fracture are:

  • Swelling
  • Pain with pressure or movement
  • Bruising of the skin
  • Sudden deformity of the limb

Since a buckle fracture is a stable fracture and stable fractures are less painful than unstable, complete fractures, the child may still be able to move a joint near the fracture.

Who Is at Risk?

Buckle fractures never occur in adults, because adult bones are less elastic and more brittle. On the other hand, a child's bone is much softer and more pliable, capable of withstanding some deforming force.

Incomplete fractures are most often a result of a fall or a serious impact or collision, so engaging in physical activity or playing sports puts children more at risk.

Treatment Options

A broken limb should be stabilised by a cast or a removable splint as soon as possible to prevent the bone from moving. Splints are the fastest and easiest way to treat a fractured bone, while another option for treating an incomplete fracture is a cast.

The major benefit of wearing a cast is that children cannot remove it by themselves and jeopardise their recovery. On the other hand, wearing a removable splint allows for bathing or washing, and parents can remove the splint by themselves once the bone has healed.

As a buckle fracture tends to heal much more quickly than complete fractures, the splint only needs to be worn for two to four weeks. 

Visit our full range of Wrist Supports for Buckle Fractures to find a brace that suits your needs.


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