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Greenstick Fractures

What Is 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 because their bones are softer and more flexible than adult bones.

In teens and adults, the injury may cause the bone to break all the way through. But in kids, the bone breaks on one side only.

Illustration: Greenstick fracture

How Do Greenstick Fractures Happen?

Greenstick fractures usually happen when someone falls and reaches a hand out to break the fall.

How Are Greenstick Fractures Treated?

Usually, specialists treat this type of fracture with a cast.

Date reviewed: June 2018