Arm Fracture Overview
Broken arms are characterized by swelling around the injured area. If the broken bone has damaged the tissue and the skin, there may be bleeding also. Same symptoms occur if the arms are sprained. Only through an X-ray one can confirm whether the bone is broken or not. The breaking of the bone may occur straight across, can occur either in a diagonal or a spiral pattern. The bone can be broken into many pieces also or can be jutting out through the skin.
What are the Surgical and Non Surgical Treatments for Broken Arm?
You are not expected to drink or eat anything if you suspect that the bone in your hand is broken because anesthesia will be necessary for the procedure to be carried out. It will be better if a sling is attached for stabilizing the broken hand before reaching the hospital. To reduce the pain and swelling around the area application of ice pack will be beneficial. In the hospital your doctor will give pain killers and attach a splint to the arm to provide stability and to prevent further damage. X-rays will be taken to ascertain the severity of the fracture.
In simple fractures there won’t be any alignment problem of the bones and hence a plaster cast can be used for fastening the recovery process. In severe fractures there will be misalignment of bones. Surgeons make use of a procedure called ‘closed reduction to realign the bones to their correct positions. Local, regional or general anesthesia will be given depending upon the condition and severity of the individual cases. If the realignment is completed successfully cast will be fixed. Surgeons may use wires, plates, rods, screws etc for properly realigning the fractured bone. This is known as open reduction internal fixation (ORIF). The metal work in the internal fixator is not usually removed provided they do not produce any other problems.
In some cases an external fixator or braces will be used to hold the broken bones in position. After every surgery a plaster cast will be provided to support the bones until they are healed. The period for which the plaster cast has to be worn depends upon the severity of the injury and the age of the patient. A child who has fractured his writ, may need to wear the plaster cast for two weeks only where as in the case of a grown up person with the sever fracture, the period may extent to months. Risk of re breaking at the site of breakage will be greater. So children who had undergone surgery for bone fracture has to be very careful in avoiding dangerous situations.
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