We were all having a blast at a local trampoline “fun place” as Keegan (who is 5) calls it. We’ve been to this type of place numerous times and always had fun and some good exercise. However, this time I bounced a little too close to Keegan. As the springs were unloading from my weight, he was coming down.
You never want to hear your child crying in pain, especially not when the character is distinctive enough to ring that inner clinician warning bell. A trip to urgent care for some plain films was in order. I was hopeful it was just a serious sprain, but I think I knew better. Being in the X-ray room when the technician brings the images up and seeing the glaring fracture over the proximal tibia was heart wrenching. My little boy’s shinbone was broken, and although an accident, my role in the injury was prominent.
I ran the plain films by the local DACBR (Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Radiology) and he confirmed the presence of what is known as a “trampoline fracture.” He also reassured me that the outcomes were very good with simple casting. Little risk to the growth plate and no need for surgery.
The next trip to the pediatric ortho left Keegan in a cast just short of his hip for 5 weeks. Knowing how healthy he is and adding some extra C and D to the mix and his healing should be faster than normal. But I can’t help feeling awful for him. Playing rough is normal behavior for him, but this wasn’t a situation where he was about to jump off a structure high enough to have low oxygen tension–my role in his injury was critically.
I’m familiar with the risks of trampoline use. I’ve always been careful there, but I was unaware how common this injury can be. Hopefully this lesson can save another little 5 yr old some time in a cast.