Forearm fracture

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
    Forearm fracture

    The injury is often brought about by a fall or sustaining a direct strike on the arm.

  • 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.

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