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Don’t Delay Treatment of a Broken Arm
By: IHI
01.27.15 Tuesday
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At Idaho Hand Institute we see broken arms caused by workplace accidents, sports injuries, falls and other complications. Broken arms do not discriminate, affecting every age, race and ability. They are often difficult to self-diagnose, so we always recommend you seek the advice of your medical provider if you think you have an injured or broken arm. If you experience these symptoms, contact your healthcare professional to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan in place:
  • Bruising
  • Reduced, painful range of motion
  • Stiffness
  • Severe pain that increases with movement
  • Swelling and/or throbbing
  • Tenderness
  • Visual deformity
If you get prompt medical attention, the prognosis for broken arms is excellent. That changes quickly if you delay your course of action. Complications can arise that involve the joint, infections, and nerve/blood vessel damage. Bones are active living structural components. Broken bones immediately begin the healing process, so if the bone is not set properly or if other damage is left undiagnosed, you risk compromising the future integrity of the bone and its function. In other words, don’t delay! This is absolutely a case where it is better to be safe than sorry. If your bone is not protruding from the skin and there is no obvious deformity, you’ll likely get X-rays to determine the extent and complexity of the fracture. The X-ray will show the location of the break and if there is joint involvement. If your doctor needs more accurate images to review surrounding muscles, tendons and tissues, a CT scan may be ordered. With a displaced fracture, your bones may need manipulation to get the pieces back into their proper positions, often called reduction. Your doctor will provide medication to reduce/eliminate the pain. To aid in healing, you’ll likely wear a brace, cast, sling or combination for roughly three to 10 weeks on your broken arm, depending on the severity of the break and your body’s healing. For more information, please contact us at (208) 235-4263. We are now seeing patients in Pocatello, Blackfoot and Soda Springs and our newest location in Idaho Falls (Mountain Falls Quick Care Clinic at 1995 E 17th St #1, Idaho Falls, ID 83404).
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