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What to do and what to do if I broke my arm?

Situations in which a fracture occurs as a result of a hand injury are quite common. Sometimes, if you do not attach importance to this event, the result may even be a fatal outcome. Therefore, it is so important to carry out all necessary measures - to provide first aid, to perform diagnostics and conduct therapy.

Treatment should be accompanied by the maximum possible immobilization, carried out, as a rule, by applying a plaster bandage. It is necessary to immobilize the site of bone fracture. In the absence of movements between the fragments, in the place of the fracture, a gradual build-up of bone callus begins, which is subsequently converted into a healthy bone. Depending on the type of injury that occurred, open or closed fracture of the arm, hand, fingers, forearm, treatment varies. How many days gypsum is worn also depends on many factors, primarily on the diagnosis. For its formulation, it is necessary to study the position of bones, the state of tissues, nerves, and tendons.

Even a satisfactory condition of the victim after an injury cannot guarantee the absence of a fracture. To verify the absence of a crack, that is, a fracture of the arm without displacement of the bones, allows a conventional x-ray. It is made in 2 projections. can be assumed if there is a deformation of the hand, for example, a change in the position of the hand.

An open version of the fracture is determined by violation of the skin, damage to tissues and blood vessels, the formation of lacerations that are found during examination of the victim.

First of all, in any case, it is necessary to ensure the following actions:

  • stop using a tourniquet if there is bleeding,
  • treat the wound with an antiseptic if the fracture is open,
  • immobilize a broken limb with the help of improvised means that can imitate a tire on the arm,
  • give the victim an anesthetic so that he does not have a loss of consciousness due to pain shock,
  • do not violate the position of the bones until the arrival of doctors or going to a medical facility,
  • seek qualified help.

The fracture that caused an open wound when bone fragments are visible from it requires an especially quick response. After first aid, urgent hospitalization of the victim is necessary. In this case, an operation is performed to restore the correct position of the bones. At its end, the fragments are fixed, as a rule, with the help of external devices - knitting needles or special devices, one of which is the Ilizarov apparatus.

A simple bruise or crack in the arm bone does not require emergency treatment at the emergency room. It is enough to immobilize the injured place and come to the reception within 1-2 days. But it is important to know that the sooner the therapy is carried out, the better the prognosis for treatment. After contacting the doctor, further actions of the victim depend on the conclusion that the doctor will give. With a diagnosed fracture, therapy will be prescribed, including fixing the fracture with the help of a splint.

How long does restoration of bone integrity in plaster take?

The complexity of the injury and its localization very much affect how much gypsum will have to wear in case of a broken arm. When it comes to a fracture of a finger on a hand, the period of bone tissue restoration can be from 18 days to 25. When the hand or bones of the forearm are broken, wearing plaster can last from 28 to 35 days, and full rehabilitation of the limb will be achieved no earlier than two months.

Complete healing of the fracture site may occur sooner or later. It depends on the state of health and age of the victim. In a young body, the ability of tissues to recover is much higher than in older people. In addition, metabolic disorders, hormonal disruptions, digestive problems, and the cardiovascular system - all this will complicate the process of bone fusion. If the victim is overweight, the wearing period of the cast can also increase. When, on the contrary, health is good, metabolism is not slowed down, there are no chronic diseases, the bones grow together quickly.

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The clinical picture of treatment

The presence of a broken arm with an offset can be determined not only by radiography. Among the diagnostic methods used to draw up the correct conclusion, the following studies also play an important role:

  • ultrasound
  • magnetic resonance or computer.

Ultrasound makes it possible to determine the health of the actual bone tissue, what is its density, is there osteoporosis, inflammation of the joints. MRI reveals to the doctor a complete picture of the site of the injury - the condition of the vessels, muscles, bones, and tendons.

Additional indirect signs of fracture of the bones of the arm with a shift are:

  • change in finger sensitivity,
  • their cooling
  • hematoma formation
  • the occurrence of edema,
  • limb deformity,
  • difficulty in limb movements,
  • pathological mobility of the arm outside the joints,
  • the presence of a bone crunching effect,
  • severe pain on palpation.

If there is a bias, the doctor will first determine which type of treatment is better to use - conservative or surgical. The main goal in this case will be, first of all, the restoration of the correct location of the parts of the broken limb. Subsequently, immobilization of the arm will also be carried out for the possibility of bone fusion. If the conservative type of therapy is selected, the bias will be eliminated in a closed way. In this situation, the simplest and most effective method of immobilization is the use of a plaster cast. It is imposed for several weeks. Before fixing the place of injury with gypsum, you need to wait for the swelling to come off. Up to this point, the injured arm is immobilized with the help of a splint.

Cases of fractures in the hands are often associated with finger injuries. This is due to their mobility and a significant role in life, work. They are injured by both children and adults. The number of injuries of the thumb, especially the right hand, is much higher than that for the remaining fingers.

When the swelling passes, a plaster cast is applied, which immobilizes the injury site in case of a fracture of the finger. How much gypsum to wear in this case depends, as in other situations, on the patient's age and level of health. The final decision is made by the doctor.

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Since bone fusion does not always occur fast enough, victims can hardly wait for the removal of the cast. But it is very important not to rush. If the bones are still not well bonded, a second displacement may occur. Then you will need an operation for an artificial fracture and subsequent reposition of fragments. Therefore, it is important to follow all the doctor’s instructions so that the fracture does not have to be re-adjusted. How well the bones are fused can be monitored by x-ray. It is done 2-3 times, with a break of 10 days throughout the entire treatment period.

Rehabilitation after plaster removal

To fully restore the efficiency of the limb, they begin to develop it. The sooner you start this process, the better the results will be. The first elements of a rehabilitation complex can be done if they do not cause pain, even when in a cast. This primarily refers to massage. Start it with stroking, then perform light rubbing. The most active actions are tingling and pressure, also very light, possibly using a massager.

Massage allows you to improve the metabolism in superficial tissues already at the first stage of rehabilitation. Even if only plaster-free areas are involved, it still improves the condition of the entire limb. Due to this, swelling is reduced, the healing of injured muscle tissues, nerve endings, and bone fusion are accelerated.

In the future, after removal of the cast, rehabilitation measures include more active ways to restore the health of the hand. To do this, use:

  1. Exercise machines for developing an injured arm and restoring its mobility, all functions.
  2. Home workouts, for example, with an expander, a rubber ball, with other similar devices.
  3. If you need to quickly restore good mobility of the fingers and hands, a hobby for knitting can be a good substitute for training. At the same time fine motor skills are well trained.
  4. Training should take place according to special regulations - preliminarily performed warming up exercises and actions - rubbing, stroking, light massage. The loads and amplitudes of joint flexion during classes increase gradually, every day a little.
  5. Physiotherapy exercises also help to improve the healing and healing process. Rises of arms, spins, claps and other elements raise the pulse rate and respiration, make the blood move faster. This allows you to strengthen the supply of tissue with oxygen and nutrition.
  6. To relieve swelling and inflammation, resort to the use of physiotherapy:
  • magnetotherapy
  • warming up with ozokerite and paraffin,
  • treatment with high frequency currents,
  • electrophoresis
  • the use of special ointments (such as heparin).

When treating a not very severe fracture, for example, a brush, without displacement, the restoration will pass very quickly. The period of being in an immobilized state, in a longet, can last in this case up to one and a half to two weeks.

Prevention of complications when using plaster dressings

When the treatment period is prolonged, the risk of dangerous consequences increases. Difficulty in bone fusion may be associated with existing diseases.

Therefore, more attention should be paid to their treatment. After all, if the bones and joints cannot grow together for a long time, this will lead to a decrease in the mobility of the hand.


The question arises, when the duration of wearing gypsum depends on the severity of the injury, but the average period of fusion is from 3 to 10 weeks. Fingers are the fastest to leave with gypsum, the longest time is to wear it on the forearm. In the case of severe fractures of a fragmentation type, the doctor may leave plaster for up to 3-4 months.

Removal of gypsum can also be delayed if the patient has problems with the restoration of damaged tissues and bones. Most often this is due to the fact that the hands are most difficult to keep at rest (for example, if gypsum is placed on the finger of the hand), whereas all fractures require this. Perhaps the body lacks the necessary substances for speedy healing, then additionally prescribe medications, vitamins and minerals that contribute to this.

Even in spite of the plaster cast, it is impossible to move a limb, but often it turns out involuntarily, because it is impossible to control reflex movements for a long time. After the plaster is removed, the patient will have a long rehabilitation period, on average taking about six months. and other information related to this issue is provided below.

Complications while wearing plaster

For the speedy healing of damaged limbs, plaster bandages are used. After applying gypsum, unpleasant moments often arise that need to be carefully monitored and not run to prevent the development of more serious problems.

1.Swelling. In itself, edema during fractures is a common thing, and right away, of course, it will not work, especially when you consider that gypsum still compresses the limb, fixing it. If the dressing is applied correctly, then within a few days, a maximum of two weeks, the swelling will subside, and the soreness will decrease.

Visit a doctor immediately if:

  • a damaged hand in a cast becomes cold,
  • fingers become cyanotic, pale or red,
  • the arm hurts in a cast, while the pain becomes acute or worse,
  • numbness of a limb appears, its sensitivity decreases,

Such symptoms are characteristic of transmitted vessels and nerves, which occurs due to severe tissue edema. Circulatory disorders lead to serious consequences, including necrosis and amputation. Therefore, it is necessary to remove the gypsum urgently. You can call an ambulance or visit the emergency room. An alarm is also a symptom if the hand goes numb under the cast.

Anti-swelling products

To edema subside faster, both medicines and traditional medicine are used:

  • heparin ointment and Troxevasin gel,
  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, most often based on ibuprofen. If the hand swells in a cast, such medicines as Nimesil, Nise, Mig, Ibuklin and sa give a good effect

    Golden Rule

    Remember! It is simply not possible to determine on your own without proper physical examination and appropriate studies how severe your injury is. That is why it is necessary to take the following rule as a rule: no matter what injury you have, treat it as a potentially serious damage, not paying any attention to the fact that your leg or arm looks as usual.

    What should I do if I dislocate, stretch or break my arm?

    1. First of all, you need to deliver the injured person to the trauma center. It is necessary to follow the rules of transportation for fractures of the limbs. These include fixation of the hand. As a fixing material, you can use sticks, cardboard, cloth. They will play the role of the so-called "tire." If you cannot do this, then call an ambulance.
    2. You do not need to know how to break an arm or leg in order to understand that bleeding coming from a damaged place must be stopped on your own! This can happen in case of an open fracture. You must first stop the bleeding, and then deal with the fracture itself - remember this!
    3. Unlike stopping bleeding, you do not even need to try to cope with a potential dislocation yourself!

    What can not be done with a bruised and broken arm

    1. Of course, you can’t do nothing! Even if you see that the swelling of the tissues is small, and the mobility of your limb is not disturbed at all, be sure to take an X-ray, and also consult a doctor.
    2. In no case should the victim be transported without proper fixation of the injured arm or leg.
    3. If a woman broke her arm, then she does not need to try to give the injured limb its usual habitual position, as this will only worsen the condition of the victim.
    4. Never practice the independent use of medicines - painkillers and ointments for bruises. This must be done strictly after consulting a doctor.

    Signs of arm fracture

    How can I understand that I broke my arm? Naturally, according to the following symptoms:

    • rather severe pain
    • swelling of tissues or their increase in volume,
    • hemorrhage,
    • violation of bone shape or joint integrity,
    • a broken limb cannot move or, on the contrary, is excessively mobile.

    To determine if your arm is broken, your doctor will ask you to move it. If you cannot do this or all your attempts are accompanied by pain, the fracture is evident. Be that as it may, the point in this matter will put an X-ray image of the damaged area.

    Confirmation of the fracture occurs directly in the hospital or emergency room with the help of x-rays in a particular projection.

    How to handle a broken arm

    The co-author of this article is Harrison Lewis. Harrison Lewis is a California-registered ambulance paramedic. Passed NREMT registration and certification for professional rescuers for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and first aid in 2014.

    The number of sources used in this article is 53. You will find a list of them at the bottom of the page.

    Arm fracture is a fairly common trauma that can happen at any age. A fracture is a type of injury in which one or more bones of a limb are damaged (for example, a fracture of the radius is most often the case, as well as a fracture of the ulna and humerus). . If you have a broken arm, you must first contact a surgeon first. The doctor will apply plaster and talk about further treatment and hand care.