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Broken Arm Treatment: A-Z on what you should know

My name is Dr. Salam, and I am a practicing ortho doctor in Coimbatore. In my clinical practice at the One Care Medical center, I come across numerous patients who specifically look for a broken arm treatment.

If you have a broken arm, then it simply means that one or more bones in your arm is fractured. Broken arm and its associated injury are fairly common and occur very commonly among adults and children. In fact, fractures of the arms in most scenarios account for over 50% of all fractures!

The human arm consists of three bones in total. The humerus is the bone that runs from the shoulder joint to the elbow joint and connects with the 2 bones of the forearm. These 2 bones are called the radius and ulna respectively.

Broken arm causes

The 2 cardinal causes of a broken arm are

A. Direct trauma to the arm resulting from a car accident, direct hit with an object or any other form of direct impact

B. Fracture resulting from a fall – This type of fracture commonly results when an individual falls on an outstretched hand. Depending on the way in which the fall took place, the location of the fracture can also vary significantly. Older age and the presence of bone degenerating disease is associated with more severe fractures in general

When to see a doctor for a broken arm treatment?

In the scenarios, where there is a visible deformity in the arm, severe pain/discomfort on trying to move the arm it is best to see an orthopedic doctor without further delay. Sometimes the pain may not get relieved even when ice is applied or with medications. This is definitely not a sign to ignore. The presence of a large swelling or a complete loss of sensation in the injured region are also warning signs to see an orthopaedic doctor immediately without further delay.

What happens when you first see a doctor for a broken arm?

Your orthopedic consultant will first take a thorough history to better understand the nature of the injury. This is because the type of injury usually decides the severity of fracture. Next, after a physical exam, an X-Ray will usually be taken in 2 views. This is to ascertain the site of fracture and the extent of bony displacement if any. In some cases, an X-Ray may not give much information about the fracture, in these cases, it becomes important to take a CT Scan or MRI.

How to manage a broken arm?

Broken arms can be well managed effectively with simple slings that immobilize the arm. These simple slings can be made by placing a towel under the arm and over the neck. Next, the application of ice over the area of swelling/bruising can also help tremendously in relieving pain/swelling.

Most broken arm’s respond well after using a cast or splint to fix the arm in position.

Only severe fractures where the bone is protruding out of the skin requires fixation and surgical intervention.

Most broken arms usually heal extremely well and normal range of movement is also established quickly. Earlier treatment usually results in excellent outcomes. Children and younger adults have faster healing times. In some older individual’s there may be some limitation in the range of motion. The presence of chronic diseases like diabetes can also sometimes impair bone healing.

I hope you enjoyed reading this short article on broken arm treatment. Watch this space for more interesting articles on bone health!. And please do share this article with all your friends and loved ones.

Till then, live healthily and live long.