Broken Arm Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on February 11, 2024
1 min read
  • The person is seriously injured.
  • You suspect an injury to the person’s head, neck, or back.
  • Bone is sticking out of the skin.
  • Bleeding doesn't stop after several minutes of firm pressure.
  • Blood spurts from the wound.
  • The arm is numb, white, or blue.
  • There is deformity to the arm.
  • Apply firm pressure to the wound area with a clean cloth until bleeding stops.
  • If bone is pushing through skin, do not touch it or try to put it back in place.
  • Put a wrapped ice pack or ice in a towel on the arm for a few minutes at a time.
  • Elevate the arm above the heart, if possible.

For less serious injuries:

  • Don't try to straighten the arm. Try to keep it still and don't move it.
  • Cut away the sleeve if it cannot be removed without moving the injured arm.
  • If you can without moving the arm, carefully tape it to a rolled-up newspaper or a ruler with first aid tape.
  • Make sure the splint and wrapping aren't cutting off circulation. 


  • The health care provider will likely take X-rays and may apply a cast or splint.
  • Surgery may be needed to reset the bone or realign broken pieces.
  • A bone that has broken through the skin will require cleaning and possibly surgery.