How To Manage With A Fracture
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How To Manage With A Fracture

These facts, dealing with a fracture, will make life easier while you wait for the healing of your body. Techniques to help during the recovery of a broken bone are easy to learn first aid lessons.

First aid comes in very basic forms when it comes to how to manage a fracture on the body. When the instructions are explained to a person who has incurred an injury or a broken bone to any part of the body, those will be remembered and assist in recovery as well as contribute to simplicity of living with that fracture until it completely heals.

A fracture is not always a complete severance of two pieces of bone. Those fractures that are not separated are referred to as hairline, stress or incomplete fractures. After x-ray, CT scan, 3-phase bone scan or an MRI is taken, diagnoses are made; treatment is applied then the doctor will include some important skills to handle life for 6 to 8 weeks or longer.

Following doctors orders to elevate, apply ice, keep clean and dry are emphasized, but rarely how to manage a limb with a fracture is discussed unless rehabilitation therapy is ordered. Like any different activities, learning these techniques well at the onset and implementing them will greatly benefit your wellness and promote good health for the future. 

When an upper extremity (arm) is fractured it is not uncommon to depend largely on the existing unaffected arm. With this comes some strain of that arm to perform double duty. Remembering this should limit that "two times" the amount of use to avoid complications to that unaffected extremity. Support arm often during the day and wear sling if recommended or approved by your doctor.

 A cast is used to keep the bone in proper alignment while healing is taking place and should not be used as a cement support or other device. Chipping or breaking the cast can compromise the effectiveness of that plaster mold and greatly affect healing.

Whether it be a finger, wrist, hand, upper arm or lower arm in the cast, wearing proper clothing is essential. Material should not be tight fitting over the cast, so a fresh cast adequately dries.  Furthermore initiating the insertion of that affected extremity into a shirt, blouse or jacket before the well one is important also. The unaffected arm can easily bend to manipulate getting into a short or long sleeve more easily than the casted one. Removing the unaffected arm first, when taking off that article of clothing, is best for that same reason.

Resting the cast on a soft pillow or surface can give your shoulder, back, hip and thoracic muscles a break from the added weight during the time the arm or leg is weighted down. Support the entire cast to avoid cracking or breakage even though it has fully cured.

Look for symptoms of danger

1.  Note the color of the nail beds of the extremity. Pressing on the fingernail or toenail and releasing it should produce a return of good healthy color in 2 to 3 seconds.

2.  Feel the temperature of the casted extremity for the first 12 hours to determine if it is warm, tepid or cool to the touch. This is easily done with a gentle touching by a warmed hand.

3.  Test the mobility of the digits on the hand or foot to monitor health during time extremity is in cast. Slight wiggling is sufficient without tedious movement.

4.  Look for swelling even the slightest edema demands elevation more than you have been doing. If elevating does not remedy the symptoms, your doctor should be aware of that symptom.

5.  Even though a slight odor is usual, a profoundly foul odor from the casted limb should be told to the doctor when noticed.

All the first aid applies to lower extremities in casts as well with some additions. Since balance is compromised with the weight and nearly non functioning leg; dressing oneself should begin in a sitting down position to prevent falls. Make adequate room for the added bulk of the cast on the lower extremity when going in and out of doors or walking between furniture. Protect tender groin skin from dried cast material,by padding very lightly with soft cotton. Replace as needed for hygiene of the body.

When your body shows signs of a rash, inform the doctor immediately without delay. Any other symptoms both inner and exterior should be discussed with your health care provider soon. Allowing others to assist you should be accepted early when you have a fracture on your body that is immobile and healing. Knowing this is a temporary health condition will permit that assistance.


Roberta Baxter Charge nurse on surgical floor in hospital for 2 and 1/2 years before marrying and moving away from job.

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Comments (11)

Good information to know about fractures.


Nice info. Will have to bookmark this for future reference.

Roberta, this is an outstanding how to.

Great job, Roberta..voted

Exceptioanl information! Voted up!

Very detailed first aid management on bone fracture.

I have been on cast and it is certainly not easy...

I love reading your articles

Ranked #1 in Bone Health

Really useful info.

This is very helpful information, thanks

Very useful and informative share for managing a fracture. Article also very well-written and reader friendly. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this subject. Voted up