What to Expect When You Break Your Forearm
When one or more of the bones in your arm have been fractured, this is known as a broken arm. If you’ve never experienced this type of break, you should know that the pain is excruciating. The moment that you break those bones, your arm will be lifeless. It’s not only hard to move your arm, but it’s almost impossible to get up after your injury. However, you’ve to get through the pain somehow, in order to get the treatment that you need for this common injury.
How Does It Happen?
A broken forearm is more common than you may know. It’s an injury that occurs in both adults and children. Nearly half of the broken bone cases pertaining to adults are fractures of the arm. With children, a broken arm is second, only to broken collarbone cases. Broken forearms can happen due to many reasons, but the most common cause of an arm fracture is due to a direct trauma or fall. A direct trauma could be due to an accident, such as a car crash or a blow from an object, like a baseball bat. If you break your arm due to a fall, you’ll typically fall on your outstretched hand.
When to Seek Treatment
You should seek immediate care for your broken arm in order for it to heal correctly. However, here are some signs that should prompt you to visit a doctor immediately:
A significant amount of pain
Limited mobility with your arm
Mild deformity or large swelling in the arm
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, you should bypass scheduling a doctor’s appointment and go to an emergency room for treatment:
Bones visibly sticking out from the skin
Loss of consciousness
Heavy bleeding from an open wound
Complete lack of movement in the arm
Types of Treatment
This’ll depend on the type of fracture that you’ve suffered from. You’ll need surgery if you’ve suffered from a displaced fracture because the fragments on the side of the break need to be realigned. The surgeon will need to manipulate the pieces of the bone back together; this is known as reduction. When it’s time for your fracture to heal, the doctor will need to reduce the amount of movement in your arm. This is the case for almost all arm fractures, including open and closed fractures. A sling, cast, or brace is how your doctor will immobilize your arm in order for you to heal.
The healing process will vary from person-to-person. It could take a few weeks for your broken forearm to heal, or it could take several months. The severity of the break will generally determine how much time it takes for your arm to heal. You’ll need to be in a cast for at least four to six weeks before you begin the rehabilitation process. These rehabilitation sessions could last between two to eight weeks. The point of physical therapy is to help strengthen those bones that were not used after breaking your forearm.
The old cliché, “when it’s broken, you will know,” is very true when you break your forearm. The pain and damage done to your bones is far worse than any scrape, bruise, or non-serious injury that you have experienced. You’ll need to seek treatment immediately, in order to begin the healing process.