A forearm fracture is basically a crack or break in one or both lower arm bones. The damage might be a minor crack, or the bone has shattered into several pieces.
The injury is often brought about by a fall or sustaining a direct strike on the arm. In some cases, it is likely to occur due to a health condition that causes the weakening of bone.
What are the signs?
Generally, the indications of this injury include:
- Popping or snap-like sound at the time of injury
- Irregularities in the shape of the arm
- Swelling, discomfort, bruising or tenderness right after the injury
- Aching sensation when the injured area is touched
- Inability to bend or use the arm due to the pain or swelling
- Paleness, coldness or numbness of the arm
Management of a forearm fracture
The treatment for a forearm fracture typically involves:
- If a forearm fracture is accompanied by an open wound, the priority is to control any bleeding and reduce the risk for an infection to develop.
- In case the bone appears misshapen, it is straightened by the doctor.
- There are instances in which surgery is needed to restore the bones back into the correct position.
- A splint or cast might be used to limit movement of the arm as it recuperates.
With proper treatment, this type of injury might take up to 6 weeks to fully heal. Other self-care measures for the injury is aimed on controlling the pain and swelling. This can be achieved by:
- Applying an ice pack or pack of frozen vegetables on the site of injury every 3-4 hours at 20-minute sessions during the initial 1-2 days after.
- Make sure that the affected arm is propped on a pillow or cushion when he/she is sitting or lying down.
- Pain medications can be given but carefully follow the instructions whether given by the doctor or on the packaging.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on a forearm fracture is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the signs and how it is managed by taking a standard first aid course with Vancouver First Aid.