Common Types of Bone Fractures in Newborns

Common Types of Bone Fractures in Newborns

by / Wednesday, 23 March 2022 / Published in Birth Trauma
A baby cries while laying down.

Being born is a very difficult process, both for the mother and for the baby. Given how delicate a baby’s body can be, particularly if it’s born prematurely, it’s easy for them to get hurt in the process. If delivery becomes prolonged or complicated, the more likely it becomes that injuries can occur, such as bone fractures. Some of the most common types of fractures that occur around the time of birth include:

Clavicle/Collarbone Fractures

When it comes to bone fractures that occur around the time of birth, clavicle fractures are the most common type. They tend to occur most often in babies with a high birth weight and when the baby’s arm is forced into an awkward position during delivery, such as if shoulder dystocia occurs. Shoulder dystocia occurs when the child’s shoulder(s) get stuck in the pelvic bone during delivery. A baby being delivered in a breech position could also be at risk for a collarbone fracture.

Femoral Fractures

Fractures to the femur (thigh bone) are less common than collarbone fractures, but they do occur. Just as collarbone fractures can occur if the baby’s arm is forced into an awkward position during delivery, femoral fractures occur if the baby’s leg is twisted or contorted during delivery, such as if the baby was delivered in a breech position. Femoral fractures can also occur during difficult C-section deliveries. 

Skull Fractures

In some situations, a doctor may recommend using birth-assisting tools, like forceps, to help labor progress. Forceps are safe if used correctly, but if they’re not used appropriately, there is a risk that the baby’s skull could be fractured in the process. 

Growth Plate Fractures

Sometimes, an injury can affect the thin areas of cartilage located near the ends of long bones, like the femur, tibia, ulna, and tibia, as well as in the hands and feet. These areas of cartilage are known as growth plates. Since cartilage is more delicate than bone, it’s easy for it to be damaged by a traumatic event of some kind, such as a fall, but they can also occur if the area of the body becomes twisted. 

Contact a Michigan Birth Trauma Lawyer

If your child was injured at the time of birth, it’s very important to contact a birth trauma lawyer to learn about your legal options. In many cases, birth injuries are the result of medical malpractice and it’s important to make sure your child will be able to get the care they need, both right now and in the future. 

Birth injuries can significantly range in severity. A bone fracture will often fully heal with appropriate treatment, but severe fractures or fractures that aren’t treated right away can have effects that last for a long time. At Goodwin & Scieszka, we’re experienced in helping families in the state of Michigan who have experienced birth trauma. Contact us today for help with your case.

Image: iStock / Anastasiia Stiahailo 

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