A broken arm is a common injury. Falling on an outstretched hand or being in a car crash or some other type of accident is usually the cause of a broken arm. Most people know right away if their arm broke, because of the pain and often a snap or a loud cracking sound.
Signs of a break:
The broken arm may appear deformed and be swollen, bruised and bleeding. A person with a broken arm usually has:
- Extreme pain at the site of the injury.
- Pain increased by any movement.
- Loss of normal use of the arm.
The doctor will physically examine the broken arm and check for other injuries. The doctor may want to see if the patient can flex and extend the wrist and fingers. The doctor may use X-rays or other diagnostic imaging tools to see the bones of the injured arm.
Depending on the severity of the fracture would determine if treatment was conservative with a splint or cast versus surgery. Most patients do well with conservative treatment but those with more serious fractures may require surgery.
It may take several weeks to several months for the broken arm to heal completely. Rehabilitation involves gradually increasing activities to restore muscle strength, joint motion and flexibility. Rehabilitation lasts until tissues perform their functions normally.