No medial condyle or epicondyle fracture, no wrist fracture- why the pain?
Yesterday, my 13 year old son fell on the gym floor at school. He caught himself mostly with his left arm, but landed on his right arm with it under him across his stomach.
He said that when he got up, he felt a pop in his wrist, and a burning pain that traveled to his elbow. He was in enough pain to cry in front of his classmates, and when I picked him up 30 minutes later, his wrist and elbow were swollen- but the wrist was moreso.
I took him to urgent care, where they took x-rays. The doctor there said that he had a "closed fracture of the medial condyle of the right elbow" and referred us to an orthopedist. He could't see any fracture in the wrist. He showed me what looked like a piece of bone broken away from the inside of his Humorous. Compared to other x-rays I've seen online, I thought maybe he meant epicondyle, instead of condyle, but when we got to the Ortho this morning, he said that he doesn't see a fracture at all.
Urgent Care had put my son's arm in a fiberglass splint, and then a sling. Last night and this morning he didn't complain of any pain at all. The orthopedist removed the splint and said he wants my son to only use the sling and see if his arm feels better in a few days. He said the part of the x-ray that looked like bone separated was simply part of the growth area.
The problem is that now my son is in a lot of pain. He says the pain shoots from his wrist near his thumb, to his elbow. I followed the Ortho's instructions- gave him Aleve, iced it, and have it elevated. He is still uncomfortable enough to be in tears. Any movement, even that doesn't seem to involve his arm, hurts. I have calls into the Ortho to see if he can give my son something stronger for the pain, and a call into his pediatrician to see if its normal for him to be in this much pain or if there could be something else wrong.
I know that without seeing the x-ray you can't diagnose- but do his symptoms sound familiar to any of you? Could he have injured a nerve or ligament, and if so, should I take him to someone else? If it is just a really bad sprain, should he not at least have the splint or some kind of wrap to keep it immobile, even for a few days, or no?
Was the ortho a hand specialist? If not I would take him to one for a second opinion. Your son could have damaged the ligaments. Many times this does not show up on the x-ray. He needs a MRI, hopefully you can get some answers from that. To find a hand specialist in your area--
To learn what patients are saying about the hand specialist and the ortho your son has already seen you can go to this site:
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