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Broken Arm (cont.)

When to Seek Medical Care

Call a doctor after an accident if these signs are present:

  • Significant pain that is not relieved by ice and home pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin)
  • A large amount of swelling or mild deformity of the arm compared to the opposite arm
  • Significant pain with use or limited use of the affected arm
  • Pain in one specific part of the arm when it is pressed

The doctor may advise the patient to go directly to a hospital's emergency department. Under the following conditions, go directly to the hospital for emergent care:

  • Visible bone sticking out through the skin
  • Heavy bleeding from an open wound
  • Complete lack of movement or sensation of part of the arm
  • Obvious deformity that looks drastically different from the usual appearance
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Many other injuries
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/7/2012
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