Fractures are injuries that can occur at a young or old age. Fractures can occur in any of the three bones that make up the arm: humerus, ulna or radius. In order to properly treat a broken arm, you need to provide immediate first aid, seek medical attention, and provide the appropriate time and care for the arm to fully heal.
Part 1 of 3: Seeking Help
Step 1. Pay attention to the situation
Depending on the severity of the broken arm, you may need to call an ambulance immediately or go to the nearest hospital. Observe the situation closely for one minute before administering first aid to prevent further injury.
- You're more likely to suffer a fracture if you hear a cracking or cracking sound.
- Another sign of a broken arm is severe pain that increases when the arm is moved, swells, bruises appear, is unnaturally shaped, or has difficulty turning the palm of the hand.
- Call an ambulance or go to the hospital as soon as possible if you notice any of the following: the patient is not responding, is not breathing, or is not moving; the presence of severe bleeding; pain from light touch or movement; an injury to the arm at the tip, for example a finger that is numb or the tip turns blue; the possibility of fractures in the neck, head, or back; broken bones penetrate the skin surface; or abnormal arm shape.
- If you cannot call an ambulance, read the following article: How to Give First Aid to a Fractured Bone.
Step 2. Relieve the bleeding
If a fracture causes bleeding, this bleeding should be stopped as soon as possible. Apply light pressure to the injured area using a bandage, clean cloth, or clean clothing.
Make sure you call an ambulance or go to the hospital if the injury is bleeding
Step 3. Do not straighten the bones
If the bone is sticking out or the arm is unnaturally shaped, do not straighten it under any circumstances. Call the doctor and stabilize the arm to prevent further injury and problems.
Injury and pain can get worse if the bones are straightened and increase the risk of infection
Step 4. Stabilize the broken arm
It is very important to make sure the damage to the bone does not get worse. Place a splint above and below the broken bone to stabilize the arm until medical attention is given.
- You can use a variety of objects to make a splint, including rolled newspapers or towels. Tape or tie support around the arm to hold the splint in place.
- Covering the splint will help reduce discomfort.
Step 5. Apply a cold compress or ice to reduce pain and swelling
Apply the compress to the broken bone after first wrapping it with a towel or cloth. Thus, pain and swelling can be reduced until the injury is treated by a doctor.
- Do not apply the compress directly to the skin as this will cause frostbite. Wrap the compress in a cloth or towel to prevent frostbite.
- Leave the compress for 20 minutes after each use until you are at the hospital or doctor's clinic.
Step 6. See a doctor
Depending on the severity of the fracture, you may need a cast, splint, or brace to stabilize the injured area. Your doctor can determine the best treatment for your fracture.
- The doctor will ask a series of questions during a fracture examination including about the symptoms, severity, and things that make the pain worse.
- Your doctor may order an X-ray or MRI to determine the best treatment for your injury.
Step 7. Take the necessary actions
If the fracture is a misplaced fracture, your doctor may need to take the bone back into place. Although this process is painful, your doctor can take steps to help you undergo the procedure.
- Your doctor may give you muscle sedation or sedatives while restoring the bone to its position.
- Your doctor may give you a cast, brace, splint, or brace to wear while healing.
Part 2 of 3: Organizing Daily Activities
Step 1. Don't forget to use the RICE principle
When carrying out your daily activities, don't forget the RICE principle: rest (rest), ice (cool), compression (compression), elevation (raise). The RICE principle will help you carry out your daily activities with ease.
Step 2. Rest your arm
Give your arm time to rest throughout the day. The bone will heal well if it is not moved. In addition, aches and pains will be preventable.
Step 3. Cool the arm with ice
Apply an ice pack to your arm. Thus swelling and pain can be reduced.
- Use ice as often as needed for 20 minutes at a time.
- Wrap the compress in a towel or cloth so your cast doesn't get wet.
- If the compress is too cold or the skin becomes numb, take the compress from the arm.
Step 4. Compress your injury
Wrap or compress the arm with an elastic bandage. This will reduce swelling and pain.
- Swelling can result in immobility of the arm. Compression can prevent this from happening.
- Use compression until the injured area is no longer swollen or recommended by a doctor.
- You can find compression bandages and bandages at pharmacies, medical supply stores, and supermarkets.
Step 5. Raise your arms above your heart
Raise your arm above heart level as this will reduce swelling and help keep your arm moving.
If the arm cannot be raised, help with pillows or furniture
Step 6. Protect the cast from water
While swimming or soaking in the tub is easy enough not to do, bathing with a shower or dipper can be more difficult as you heal. Try a sponge bath to clean yourself up while preventing your cast or brace from getting wet. This will ensure that you heal properly without any infection or irritation.
- You can wrap the cast in heavy plastic, such as a garbage bag or plastic bag. Make sure the entire cast is wrapped properly and securely.
- It's a good idea to place a small towel over the cast to prevent water from soaking in and getting inside. Not only will the integrity of the cast be maintained, but skin irritation and infection will be prevented.
- If the cast is already wet, dry it with a hairdryer to avoid damaging it. If your cast is drenched, call your doctor and ask what the follow-up is.
Step 7. Wear reasonable clothing
Putting on and undressing can be quite difficult when wearing a cast. Choose clothes that are easy to put on and take off without making you uncomfortable.
- Choose loose clothing with large armholes. It may be easier if you wear a short sleeve or sleeveless shirt.
- If the weather is cold, you can wrap the shoulder of the broken arm in a warm shirt. Keep your arms in warm clothes to stay warm
- If you want to wear gloves but can't, try putting your hands in your socks.
Step 8. Use the non-dominant arm
If your dominant arm is broken, use the other hand as much as possible. It may take some getting used to, but it can help you carry out your daily activities.
Learn how to brush your teeth, comb your hair, or use kitchen utensils with your non-dominant hand
Step 9. Ask for help
Some activities are too difficult to do alone with a broken arm. Ask friends or family for help while your arm is healing.
- You can ask a friend to take notes at school or type a paper. You can also ask the teacher for permission to record lessons in class.
- Strangers are often kind enough to help people with broken arms. For example carrying groceries or holding the door when you get in or out, you can try asking a stranger for help while you hurt your arm.
- Avoid activities that are too strenuous. Some activities, such as driving, are difficult to do with a broken arm. Ask friends or family for help to drive you or use public transportation.
Part 3 of 3: Speeding Up Healing
Step 1. Don't move too much
For a speedy recovery, try not to move your arm as much as possible. Even if you're in a cast or brace, don't move or smack your arm too much.
- This is especially important if you have a fracture and the doctor is waiting to put on a cast after the swelling in the arm has subsided.
- It's a good idea to wait a few weeks to return to normal activities or until you get your doctor's approval.
Step 2. Control aches and pains with medication
You may feel pain from the fracture. Medications can help relieve the pain so you can feel somewhat comfortable and don't move your arm too much.
- You can take over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or acetaminophen. Ibuprofen and naproxen sodium can also reduce swelling.
- Children and adolescents under 18 years of age should not take aspirin unless approved by a doctor.
- You should avoid aspirin and other medications that can thin the blood if the fracture has penetrated the skin or is bleeding.
- If the pain is severe enough, the doctor may prescribe pain relief with narcotics for a few days.
Step 3. Visit a rehabilitation or physical therapy center
In many cases, rehabilitation therapy can be started immediately after initial treatment. Rehabilitation can start with simple movements to minimize stiffness and progress to physical therapy gradually once the cast, brace, or brace is removed.
- Rehabilitation should only be carried out with the permission and under the direction of a doctor.
- Initial rehabilitation can include simple movements to increase blood flow and reduce arm stiffness.
- Physical therapy can restore muscle strength, joint movement, and arm flexibility after the cast or brace is removed or postoperative recovery is complete.
Step 4. Have surgery if the arm fracture is severe
Surgery is performed if the patient has a complex fracture or a fracture that causes a fracture. Surgery can help ensure the arm heals properly and minimize the risk of subsequent fractures.
- During surgery, the surgeon will insert a fixation device that will stabilize your bones. Screws, nails, plates, and wires are different types of fixation tools. These devices help keep your bones in position during the recovery process.
- In this procedure, you will be given a local anesthetic while the doctor inserts and attaches the fixation device.
- Recovery time often depends on the severity of the arm fracture and how well the treatment was carried out.
- After surgery, you may need physical therapy to restore joint strength, flexibility, and movement.
Step 5. Eat foods that strengthen bones
Set a diet menu that includes foods rich in calcium and vitamin D to strengthen your bones. These foods will also provide the nutrients needed to grow the arm bones and prevent future fractures.
- Calcium and Vitamin D can work together to strengthen bones.
- Good sources of calcium include milk, spinach, soybeans, cabbage, cheese and yogurt.
- You can take calcium supplements if the diet alone can not meet your calcium needs. However, try to get as much calcium as possible from food.
- Good sources of vitamin D include salmon, tuna, beef liver, and egg yolks.
- Just like calcium, you can take vitamin D supplements to complement your diet.
- Consider eating foods fortified with calcium or vitamin D. Many fruit juices such as grapes or oranges contain calcium or vitamin D. Some dairy products are fortified with vitamin D.
Step 6. Do weight lifting to strengthen bones
While many people think that weight training only strengthens muscles, your bones actually respond to your training. People who exercise have a higher bone density, and exercise also helps balance and coordination of the body thereby reducing the chances of falls and accidents.
- Try weightlifting, walking, climbing, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis, and dancing to strengthen and maintain bones.
- Make sure you see your doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if you have osteoporosis (porous bones).