Explaining Greenstick Fractures

Greenstick fractures are most common in infants and children. Youthful bones are soft and somewhat flexible, and can bend before breaking. The name comes from an analogy: a green piece of wood will similarly bend before it cracks; unlike a dry, dead branch, which will snap in two under the same pressure. Greenstick fractures are sometimes called “willow breaks” for the same reason.

In a greenstick fracture, the bone bends and partially breaks. Often, the crack is difficult to see on an X-ray image. This can make diagnosing a greenstick fracture problematic. Pain, redness and swelling may indicate the injury, and the bent bone may be evident when X-ray images are taken from multiple angles.

Treatment and Recovery

If the bone is set and not re-injured, the victim of a greenstick fracture will usually recover fully, with no long-lasting effects. Depending on the location of the fracture, doctors may splint the injury or put a cast on the limb.

[Legal Glossary]: Definition of Causation

Causation is a term that factors heavily in personal injury law. Legally defined as “the act or process that produces an effect,” causation refers to the cause-effect relationship between one action or event and the resulting event.

To win a personal injury case, one has to establish causation. The negligent action must be what caused the harm to the plaintiff. Negligence alone is not enough.

An Example of Causation

If an apartment property manager leaves the gate to the pool area unlocked after hours, that’s negligence. If a child then opens the gate, falls into the pool and injures him or herself or drowns, the negligence caused the child’s injuries. Causation is established.

If the same child had climbed the fence and had the same injuries, there would be no causation. The gate would not have prevented the result, even if it had been properly locked.