Broken Arm Surgery at Mass General Hospital

Broken Arm Surgery at Mass General Hospital

When my son was three years old, he took a morning gymnastics class at a place called My Gym. It was a drop-off supervised class, but I tended to hang out and chat with moms, many of whom were at my son’s preschool. The gymnastic teachers were setting up for the next activity when my son who was on a play structure, walked onto a large yoga ball, attempted to “ball walk” like he’d seen a bear do in a cartoon.

Broken Arm Surgery at Mass General Hospital

My stoic little boy was a trooper during his broken arm surgery.

He fell off the ball, screamed, and turned white as a ghost. I rushed him to the emergency room of our local hospital and they found that he had broken his arm in three places near the elbow but even more worrisome, near his growth plates. They put us on an ambulance — no sirens — to Massachusetts General Hospital where they had pediatric orthopedic surgeons there capable to doing this delicate surgery.

It was scary for my son. He had to go through a second set of painful x-rays. The surgery that to occur later that afternoon so he was not allowed to eat or drink anything. Through it all, he remained stoic and patient. The nurses and doctors were amazed.

broken arm surgery Mass General Hospital for little boy

Even a broken arm from gymnastics does not deter him from more activity!

We had read Curious George Goes to the Hospital by H. A. Rey many times previously and recalling the story of the little monkey who swallowed a puzzle piece and needed surgery was comforting. Even though the surgeries were different, the processes were similar and remembering the book made this experience less scary for my son.

I wish that I had a copy of DareBone’s Big Break then because it’s by pediatric orthopedic surgeon Dr. Gleenson Rebello who actually works at Mass General Hospital! Small world!

ball pit and broken arm

He wants to jump into the foam pit despite his broken arm.

DareBone has an accident at the playground resulting in a similar injury to my son — multiple fracture near the elbow that requires surgery, steel pins, and a cast.

DareBone’s Big Break by Gleeson Rebello, M.D. and Jamie Harisiades

Told in rhyme, the picture book shows what happens when DareBone breaks his arm, from injury to surgery to cast removal. This is a great for any kid who has broken his or her arm, especially if you are going to make a visit to the hospital! [picture book, ages 4 and up]

As it turns out, my son — now 11 years old — has had three Emergency Room incidents. He pulled down a heavy stocking holder which hit his head when he was a toddler, this broken arm accident, and his recent neck surgery for a cyst. Is this a boy thing? What do you think? Thanks for your input!

broken arm surgery Mass General Hospital for little boy

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Broken Arm Surgery at Mass General Hospital

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. It’s amazing how our young children can be stronger than their parents in emergency situations at times when we are most vulnerable!

  2. We have escaped broken bones so far, but Johnny split his head open last month when he fell off the monkey bars and hit his head on a metal bar on the way down.
    MaryAnne recently posted…Beginner Crochet Project: Make a DishclothMy Profile

  3. Hmm… I’ve never broken a bone or gotten stitches – I guess I was always careful. 🙂 I loved that curious George book!

  4. Aw, what a brave little man! Surgery is tough, especially when the patient is a little one. It sounds like he made it through very well though. He looks great! Hope he has made a full recovery!

  5. Amanda

    wow..quite an insightful article…Always amazing seeing how the little ones could overcome surgery faster.
    Amanda recently posted…Non surgical rhinoplasty, get a new nose in 15 minutesMy Profile

  6. Great post! Surgery can definitely sometimes be overwhelming, especially for children. This was a great approach to use, thanks for sharing!

  7. Thank you for sharing all of this. I love that you found a book to help him deal with the experience!

  8. It’s amazing how many accidents and health problems children can run into at such a young age. But it’s great that he put on a brave face through it all! Great post!

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