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Symptoms and Signs of Broken Arm

Doctor's Notes on Broken Arm Symptoms, Pain Relief, Remedies, and Treatment

A broken arm (fractured arm) means that one or more of the bones of the arm (the humerus, radius, and ulna) have cracked. Arm fractures account for nearly half of all broken bones in adults, and in children, forearm fractures of are second only to broken collarbones. Almost all arm injuries that result in a broken bone are caused by either falls or direct trauma such as a car accident or sports injuries.

Symptoms of a broken arm include extreme pain and increased pain when moving the arm, swelling, deformity when compared to the other arm, possible open wound either from the bone puncturing the skin or from the skin being cut during the injury, and decreased sensation or inability to move the limb, which may indicate nerve damage.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Broken Arm Symptoms, Pain Relief, Remedies, and Treatment Symptoms

Most broken arms have these symptoms:

  • A large amount of pain and increased pain when moving the arm
  • Swelling
  • Maybe an obvious deformity compared to the other arm
  • Possible open wound either from the bone puncturing the skin or from the skin being cut during the injury
  • Decreased sensation or inability to move the limb, which may indicate nerve damage

Broken Arm Symptoms, Pain Relief, Remedies, and Treatment Causes

Almost all injuries to the arm that result in a broken bone are caused in two ways: falls and direct trauma.

  • The typical fall that produces a fracture occurs when a person falls on an outstretched hand. The location of the fracture can be from the wrist up to the shoulder depending on the direction of the fall, the age of the person, and other factors that modify the stresses applied to the bone.
  • Direct trauma can be from a direct blow from an object such as a bat, the trauma during a car accident, or any accident that causes the direct application of force to a part of the arm.

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REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

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