What to do if you suspect a Broken Arm or Wrist
We are in the midst of our Winter and with the icy conditions fast approaching it’s a good idea to know what to do if you suspect you have fallen and fractured your arm or wrist.
The most important thing is to get it treated as soon as possible!
Signs of a broken arm or wrist include:
- severe pain and tenderness
- bruising and swelling
- difficulty moving the hand or arm
- the wrist or arm being an odd shape
- a snap or grinding noise at the time of injury
- bleeding (if the bone has damaged the skin) – sometimes the bone may poke through the skin
- tingling and numbness
The shock and pain of breaking your wrist can make you feel faint, dizzy or sick. If this is the case then please seek medical help from either a doctor or nurse.
Suspected fractured wrist, get medical attention!
If you think you or someone else has a broken arm or wrist:
- go to your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department or call 999 for an ambulance if it’s a bad break.
- avoid moving the affected arm as much as possible
- stop any bleeding by applying pressure to the wound with a clean pad or dressing
- apply an ice pack (such as a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a tea towel)
- don’t eat or drink, in case you need surgery to fix the bone when you get to hospital
When you arrive at the hospital, you’ll be given:
- painkillers and a support (splint)
- an x-ray to assess to see if you have a fracture and if so, what type
- a plaster cast or removable splint will usually be applied
- you may be given a sling to support your arm
- sometimes the doctor may help realign the fracture
- surgery may be carried out to realign the bones if saviour fracture
- you’ll be asked to attend follow-up appointments to check how your arm or wrist is healing, usually 4-8 weeks
What to do once you have had the plaster removed
Once you have been seen in fracture clinic and been given the all clear that the fracture as healed it is time to get proactive:
- do some gentle exercises and stretches to reduce stiffness – physiotherapist will advise you about these
- get medical advice if you notice changes in your skin colour, unusual sensations in your arm or wrist, signs of infection (redness, swelling or smelly discharge), severe or continuous pain, or problems with your cast (it’s too loose, too tight or cracked)
- get advice about when you can return to driving or work
- Your arm or wrist may be stiff and weak after the cast is removed. physiotherapist can help with these problems,
- Symptoms can last several months or more.
At Orchard Clinic we have noticed increased waiting times for clients who wish to start their rehabilitation. If you are worried that you are not getting the advice and expertise to regain your movement, strength and independence, then please give us a call and we can help! Contact our team on 01727 855414.