Humerus Fracture, Treated with Immobilization

The humerus is the large bone in your upper arm. You have a broken (fractured) humerus. These fractures are easily diagnosed with X-rays.

TREATMENT

Simple fractures which will heal without disability are treated with simple immobilization. Immobilization means you will wear a cast, splint, or sling. You have a fracture which will do well with immobilization. The fracture will heal well simply by being held in a good position until it is stable enough to begin range of motion exercises. Do not take part in activities which would further injure your arm.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Put ice on the injured area.

  • Put ice in a plastic bag.

  • Place a towel between your skin and the bag.

  • Leave the ice on for 15 to 20 minutes, 3 to 4 times a day.

  • If you have a cast:

  • Do not scratch the skin under the cast using sharp or pointed objects.

  • Check the skin around the cast every day. You may put lotion on any red or sore areas.

  • Keep your cast dry and clean.

  • If you have a splint:

  • Wear the splint as directed.

  • Keep your splint dry and clean.

  • You may loosen the elastic around the splint if your fingers become numb, tingle, or turn cold or blue.

  • If you have a sling:

  • Wear the sling as directed.

  • Do not put pressure on any part of your cast or splint until it is fully hardened.

  • Your cast or splint can be protected during bathing with a plastic bag. Do not lower the cast or splint into water.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • Do range of motion exercises as instructed by your caregiver.

  • Follow up as directed by your caregiver. This is very important in order to avoid permanent injury or disability and chronic pain.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • Your skin or nails in the injured arm turn blue or gray.

  • Your arm feels cold or numb.

  • You develop severe pain in the injured arm.

  • You are having problems with the medicines you were given.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.