An arm fracture can interfere with your ability to lift objects or even perform your usual daily tasks. Whether you sustained a sports-related injury or injured due to other reasons, an orthopedist like one from Orthopedic Associates of New Jersey can treat the condition and help you recover. If you know what to expect, you’ll be able to plan your recovery.
Treatment in a majority of cases, you receive a cast to keep the arm bone immobilized. But in some situations, you may need surgery to repair the bone first. The surgery will consist of your surgeon placing screws and metal plates in your arm to correct the problem.
Length of Recovery A small fracture usually heals in around four to six weeks and only requires a cast. A more serious fracture may take up to 12 weeks to fully heal, and your physical therapy may last an additional 12 weeks. No matter which type of fracture you have, you may need to wear a cast or brace for between two to six weeks.
Pain Level After an Arm Fracture
You’ll experience the most amount of pain in the first few days after you have your cast or surgery. The pain may appear as an intense ache. In some cases, you may feel a sharp pain. But you should only have pain during the first two to three weeks after the surgery.
Subsequently, your practitioner may prescribe you a pain reliever to help manage the discomfort. He/she may also recommend over-the-counter analgesics to assist. At-home methods may also be recommended for you to use to manage the discomfort.
You can start physical therapy for your arm fracture with your sports medicine and personal injury specialist immediately after the surgery. You may also need additional therapy after your practitioner removes your cast. The physical therapy will reduce stiffness and will help you rebuild your muscles, so you maintain arm strength.
Once your surgeon removes your cast, you may notice that your arm muscle that was underneath the cast looks weaker than before your fracture. You might also notice that your body hair appears darker than before, and your skin may look flaky or pale.
Visit the Doctor After the Surgery
Your first visit will begin with your practitioner performing a thorough examination of your arm. This will consist of evaluating the girth of your arm and your current range of motion. Your practitioner will also want to know if you still have any pain.
During physical therapy, your orthopedist will guide you through exercises that slowly work your arm at a rate that’s comfortable for you. He/she will gradually increase the difficulty of the exercises to continually enhance your strength and range of motion. You may need to practice grasping at items and reaching in the air.
When to Contact Your Orthopedist
In most cases, you won’t experience any problems and will only need to visit your therapist for a follow-up consultation. However, if you can’t move your fingers or your pain doesn’t seem to subside, you should contact your orthopedist.
You also need to reach out to your specialist if your cast feels too loose or tight, or if it cracks. Be observant of any swelling, redness, or smelly discharge because it could indicate an infection.
Why Choose Our Orthopedist in Dover, NJ
A group of skilled practitioners from the Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey have knowledge about and experience in treating minor and major fractures. They understand the stress you feel when your life becomes limited due to arm fracture, so they take the time to make you feel comfortable throughout your physical therapy.
Schedule an appointment with Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey, serving Dover and the nearby New Jersey area, if you sustain an injury to your arm. We’re available by calling 973-989-0888 or by filling out our form.