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Is physiotherapy required after a fracture?

Q: My 6 year old son fractured his right arm (he is left-handed) just above the elbow and was put on a temporary cast. Several X-rays were taken at each appointment and the bones were found to be in alignment. Its been 10 days since the cast was removed but he still hasn't regained the full range of motion of his arm though it is more than the day the cast was removed. He is still about 30 degrees from fully extending his arm nor can he close it fully. Does he need physiotherapy?

A:It seems that your son had a supracondylar fracture of humerus for which treatment was given. Assuming that the bones united in satisfactory alignment, the physiotherapy needs to be active only initially. In other words, your son needs to be educated in terms of flexing and extending his elbow on his own to start with. Some intermittent warm fomentation around elbow before physiotherapy would help. Later, some assisted physiotherapy for increasing elbow motion may be desirable. Thus, it is not unusual to continue to have some stiffness 10 days after the plaster cast removal. Adherence to above protocol will help.

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