First aid for a broken arm or wrist

Fact Checked

Overview

In most cases, when a person has a broken arm or wrist is the result of a fall of a collision of some sort. In most cases, adults can expect it to take six to eight weeks to heal. While children are going to take less time to heal. Fractures are cracks or breaks in the bones.

Quick Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on broken wrists, fractures and broken bones is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage an array of different skeletal injuries by registering for a first aid course with one of our training providers. Training providers are located throughout Canada including in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Kelowna, Surrey, Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Regina.

Do I have an injury?

In most cases, when a person has a broken arm or wrist is the result of a fall of a collision of some sort. In most cases, adults can expect it to take six to eight weeks to heal.

In most cases, when a person has a broken arm or wrist is the result of a fall of a collision of some sort. In most cases, adults can expect it to take six to eight weeks to heal.

When a person has a broken or cracked bone in the arm or wrist, they are going to have extreme pain. They may also find that the area is swollen. In many cases, the bone could have pierced the skin and tore this. If there is bleeding, a person is going to want to get immediate medical attention to lower the risk of infection. The arm will go through an x-ray at the hospital to determine if there is damage.

What does a broken wrist feel like?

The signs of a broken wrist can consist of:

  • Pain, particularly when bending the wrist
  • Sensitivity
  • Inflammation
  • Bruising
  • Malformation of the wrist, causing it to look curved and twisted

To detect a broken wrist, your GP will give you a full physical check-up. You might require some sets of X-rays, as the fracture might be hard to see at first.

Sometimes, a broken wrist can disturb the flow of blood and nerves. You should go to a hospital straight away if:

  • There is a lot of pain
  • There is numbness in the writs or hand

Treatment for a broken arm or wrist

Most people are going to receive treatment from the hospital or doctor that they visit. The degree of the injury is going to determine how the injury is treated. Here are some aspects that the doctor may utilize for treatment:

  • Painkillers are often given and a splint is used to secure the arm in the right position to ensure that there is no further damage caused.
  • An x-ray of the arm will be taken to see what type of fracture is being dealt with.
  • A plaster cast is applied when there is a minor break or crack. This will hold the arm together to ensure that the bone heals properly.
  • A chest sling may be used to secure the arm even further and ensure that there is no lasting damage.

For adults who are undergoing treatment for a broken wrist or arm, they may want to consider physiotherapy to ensure that they are going to be a full strength once the cast is removed. Children often do not need this therapy as they are young and bounce back faster.

 Related video

FACT CHECK

http://www.assh.org/handcare/hand-arm-injuries/broken-bones

https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/broken-arm#1

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/broken-arm/symptoms-causes/syc-20353260

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The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional

  • All classesfirstaid.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.