When a person suffers from a broken arm, they have damaged one or more of the three bones in the limb. These bones are the radius, the humerus, and the ulna. A broken arm can vary in severity and type of break.
A hairline fracture is perhaps the most minor type of broken arm. This is a thin, tiny crack in a bone in the arm. On the other hand, the bones in the arm could break entirely, cracking all the way through the bone. These breaks can even protrude through the skin of the arm.
There are many different ways in which a person could break their arm. The most common of these causes is a fall onto an arm that is outstretched or the person is trying to stop their fall with their arms. However, car accidents, sports accidents or injuries, physical abuse (like child or domestic abuse), or other forms of traumatic injuries can also cause this kind of fracture.
When a bone in the arm breaks, there may be a cracking or snapping sound that the person can hear. However, this is not always the case. The most common symptom of a broken arm is severe pain, though sometimes the pain may be dull or aching as well. Swelling and bruising are also common signs of a broken arm. An unusual bend, curve, or bulge in the arm is also an indication of a broken arm as is being unable to properly turn or bend the arm.
A broken arm results when any of the three arm bones (ulna, radius, and humerus) become fractured, either by a simple break or a compound break.
When a treatment plan is designed for a broken arm, there are numerous factors considered. If the bone has suffered numerous breaks or has become displaced (meaning the pieces of the broken arm bone are not aligned), the first step in treatment will be setting the bone. Broken arms may also require immobilization with casts, slings, or splints, and even surgery if the break will not or cannot heal through immobilization alone.
Although all breaks are not preventable, many injuries can be avoided with strategies that include improving health, protecting the arm, and making safety modifications to a home or work environment.
Wear protective wrist and elbow guards when engaging in sports activities, such as skating, skiing, football, and rugby.
Take all medications as prescribed, being aware that many medications can compromise your balance.