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Greenstick Fractures

What's a Greenstick Fracture?

A greenstick fracture is a type of broken bone. A bone cracks on one side only, not all the way through the bone. It is called a "greenstick" fracture because it can look like a branch that has broken and splintered on one side.

Who Gets Greenstick Fractures?

Most greenstick fractures happen in kids younger than 10 years old. That's because kids' bones are softer and more flexible than adult bones.

In a grown-up or teen, a greenstick fracture may break the bone all the way through. But in kids, the bone breaks on just one side.

Illustration: Greenstick fracture

How Do Kids Get Greenstick Fractures?

Most greenstick fractures happen when a kid falls and puts a hand out to break the fall.

How Are Greenstick Fractures Treated?

Usually, doctors who specialize in caring for bones treat a greenstick fracture with a cast.

Reviewed by: Richard W. Kruse, DO;Susan M. Dubowy, PA-C
Date Reviewed: 01-06-2018

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