When the child is discharged from the hospital, the parent/caregiver should be taught how to assess the limb.
They should also be advised to return if there is increased pain or decreased range of finger motion.
It is important to provide parents with the following additional information:
The warning signs of compartment syndrome, circulatory problems and neurological deterioration
Hospital telephone number
For the first few days, the elbow and forearm can be elevated on a pillow, until swelling decreases and comfort returns.
At this point, the child may choose to use a sling to support the arm. Many children are more comfortable without a sling.
Control x-rays may be taken at one week following injury to assess fracture position. Further x-rays may be necessary at three weeks to assess fracture healing. This should be performed after the splint has been removed.
Recovery of motion
As symptoms recover, the child should be encouraged to remove the sling and begin active movements of the elbow.
The majority of elbow motion is recovered rapidly, usually within two months of splint removal. The older child may take a little longer.
Once the child is comfortable, with a nearly complete range of motion, he/she may resume noncontact sports incrementally. Resumption of unrestricted physical activity is a matter of judgment for the treating surgeon.
Implant removal is not mandatory and is a matter for discussion with patient and carer.
Implants are often removed in younger patients but should not be considered until return of a functional range of movement.