If more pressure is put on the humerus than its stability allows, it will break in one or more places (fractured upper arm). This causes severe pain and swelling, and sometimes a misalignment is visible. For such injuries, the arm must be splinted, immobilised and cooled, and a doctor must be consulted immediately.
- Swelling and bruising
- Restricted mobility of elbow or shoulder
- Obvious deformity and misalignment
- Injuries to the nerves in the area of the elbow can lead to sensory disturbances in the arm and hand and to muscle wastage
Causes and treatment
- Direct external trauma
Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital
- CT scan (computed tomography)
- Plaster cast
- Operation (possibly also to replace the shoulder joint)
What can I do myself?
- Try to move the fractured area as little as possible, stabilise and immobilise the forearm
- Cool the arm (if possible)
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When to see a doctor?
- After an external trauma (fall, etc.):
- Severe pain
- Severe swelling
- If the forearm is abnormally positioned
- Sensory disturbances in the arm / hand
- Increasing pain inside the plaster
Upper arm break