Radial Head Fracture

ExitCare ImageA radial head fracture is a break of the radius bone in the forearm. The radial head is the part of the bone near the elbow. These breaks often happen during a fall when you land on the outstretched arm.


  • Raise (elevate) the injured part while sitting or lying down.

  • 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 15-20 minutes, 03-04 times a day.

  • Move your fingers.

  • If you have a plaster or fiberglass cast:

  • Do not try to scratch the skin under the cast.

  • Check the skin around the cast every day. Put lotion on any red or sore areas if needed.

  • Keep your cast dry and clean.

  • If you have a plaster splint:

  • Wear the splint as told.

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

  • Do not put pressure on any part of your cast or splint. Rest your cast on a pillow for the first 24 hours.

  • Protect your cast or splint during bathing with a plastic bag. Do not put the cast or splint in water.

  • Only take medicine as told by your doctor.

  • Follow up with your doctor. This is important.

  • Do not over do exercises.


  • Your cast or splint gets damaged or breaks.

  • You have more pain or puffiness (swelling) than you did before getting the cast.

  • You have severe pain when stretching your fingers.

  • There is a bad smell, new stains or yellowish white fluid (pus) coming from under the cast.

  • Your fingers or hand turn pale, blue, or become cold or lose feeling (numb).


  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

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