Broken Arm Treatment

Call 911 if:

  • 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

1. Stop the Bleeding if Necessary

  • 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.

2. Reduce Swelling

  • Apply ice.
  • Elevate the arm above the heart, if possible.

3. Immobilize Arm

For less serious injuries:

  • 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 rolled-up newspaper or a ruler with first aid tape.

4. See a Health Care Provider Immediately

5. Follow Up

  • 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.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by David T. Derrer, MD on January 23, 2016



American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: "Broken Arm."

KidsHealth: "Broken Bones" and "Broken Bones Instruction Sheet."

American Academy of Family Physicians: "Casts and Splints."

Broken Arm Information from eMedicineHealth.

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