A broken arm involves one or more of the three bones in your arm — the ulna, radius and humerus. One of the most common causes of a broken arm is falling onto an outstretched hand. If you think you or your child has broken an arm, seek prompt medical attention. It’s important to treat a fracture as soon as possible for proper healing.
Treatment depends on the site and severity of the injury. A simple break might be treated with a sling, ice and rest. However, the bone may require realignment (reduction) in the emergency room.
A more complicated break might require surgery to realign the broken bone and to implant wires, plates, nails or screws to keep the bone in place during healing.
Common causes for a broken arm include:
• Falls. Falling onto an outstretched hand or elbow is the most common cause of a broken arm.
• Sports injuries. Direct blows and injuries on the field or court cause all types of arm fractures.
• Significant trauma. Any of your arm bones can break during a car accident, bike accident or other direct trauma.
• Child abuse. In children, a broken arm might be the result of child abuse.