How it is treated depends on whether the injury is mild or severe. Options may be:
Initial care may be:
- Ice to ease pain and swelling
- Medicine to ease pain
- A splint, brace, cast, or sling to keep the bones of the arm in place as it heals
- Exercises to help with strength and motion
Children's bones have growth plates that let bones grow and harden with age. A child with this type of fracture will need to be checked over time to make sure the bone heals the right way and keeps growing.
Putting Bones Back In Place
Some fractures cause pieces of bone to come apart. These pieces will need to be put back into place. This may be done:
- Without surgery—anesthesia will be used to ease pain while the doctor moves the pieces back into place
- With surgery—pins, screws, plates, or wires may be used to reconnect the pieces and hold them in place
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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a (Broken Arm; Radial Fracture; Ulnar Fracture)
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine http://www.sportsmed.org
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons http://www.orthoinfo.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation http://www.canorth.org
Adult forearm fractures. Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00584. Updated July 2011. Accessed September 25, 2019.
Distal radius fracture—emergency management. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/management/distal-radius-fracture-emergency-management . Accessed September 25, 2019.
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