Treating Your Broken Arm

Your arm is made up of three bones: the radius, the ulna, and the humerus. When one or more of these bones become fractured, it can lead to pain, swelling, and even deformity. Dr. Gregg A. Vagner can treat a broken arm through treatments such as immobilization, physical therapy, or surgery. He will first assess the severity of the injury during a consultation at our Cedar Park, TX, office or another one of our Austin-area locations. Dr. Vagner is fellowship-trained and can address even the most complex cases.

X-ray of broken arm
Proper and timely treatment of a broken arm is extremely important to minimize long-term effects

Immediate Effects of a Fracture

In many cases, individuals hear a snapping or cracking sound when a bone fracture occurs. Additional symptoms of a broken arm include:

  • Severe pain that may worsen with movement
  • Swelling or inflammation
  • Bruising
  • Inability to move your arm normally
  • A bent arm, bent wrist, or another noticeable deformity

If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, seek the help of a medical professional immediately. Without prompt treatment, the arm may not heal correctly, leading to more complex issues.

Common Causes

There are several scenarios that can lead to a broken arm. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Falls: The most common cause of a broken arm is falling onto an outstretched hand or elbow.
  • Sports-related injuries: Traumatic injuries or direct blows on the court or field can result in a broken arm. Football, skateboarding, gymnastics, soccer, and skiing are among the most common sports associated with arm fractures.
  • Traumatic accidents: Vehicular accidents or other similar events can cause arm fractures.
  • Child abuse: Unfortunately, child abuse is a leading cause of broken arms among children.

The risk for arm fractures is increased in patients with certain medical conditions, including osteoporosis and bone tumors.

Treating a Broken Arm

If you have suffered a broken arm, the course of action recommended will depend on the severity of the fracture. Over-the-counter pain relievers may be recommended to help alleviate discomfort. For severe pain, your doctor may prescribe a narcotic for the first few days. Ask Dr. Vagner before taking NSAIDs – such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen – as these drugs could hinder healing if used over the long term. If the fracture broke through the skin, antibiotics will likely be provided to reduce the risk of infection.

Dr. Vagner is fellowship-trained and can address even the most complex fractures.

In addition to managing pain and minimizing the risk of infection, treatment may include:

Setting the Bone

If the bones have shifted out of alignment, your surgeon may need to move the pieces back into the appropriate positions. This treatment, called a reduction, may require sedation depending on the amount of swelling and pain present.

Immobilization

In order for a broken bone to heal correctly, it must be immobilized. This is achieved through the use of a:

  • Sling
  • Splint
  • Brace
  • Cast

If a cast is required, you may be asked to wear a sling for the first few days until the initial swelling subsides. During the healing process, Dr. Vagner may take x-rays to ensure the bones have not shifted out of position.

Physical Therapy

Movement is essential to proper healing. That is why rehabilitation exercises are encouraged early on in the treatment process. While still in your sling or cast, your doctor may recommend certain exercises to reduce stiffness in the arm, shoulder, and hand. Once the sling or cast is removed, additional therapies may be recommended to improve flexibility, strength, and motion.

Surgery

If a fracture cannot be repaired through conservative means, surgery may be necessary. Surgical devices, such as plates, wires, screws, or pins, may be used to stabilize the bones during the healing process.

During a consultation with Dr. Vagner, he can identify the severity of your condition and recommend appropriate treatment.

Contact Orthopaedic Specialists of Austin

If you or a family member has a broken arm, seek medical attention right away. To schedule a consultation at our practice, contact us online or give us a call at (512) 476-2830.

Contact Us Today

Rate, Review & Explore

Social Accounts Sprite

Austin Office

4611 Guadalupe St
Ste 200
Austin, TX 78751

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

Cedar Park Office

715 Discovery Blvd
Ste 102
Cedar Park, TX 78613

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

Lakeway Office

5329 Serene Hills Dr
Ste 202
Austin, TX 78738

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm