A fracture is also called a broken bone. A broken bone is often caused by a
fall, an injury or an accident. You may need an x-ray to see if you have
broken your bone. After your bone(s) are put back in place, you may have a
cast or splint to keep the injured bone(s) from moving. If you have a bad
break and other injuries, you may need to have surgery and stay in the
hospital. Most bones heal in 6-8 weeks.
Signs of Fractures
The area near the broken bone may:
• Feel weak
• Feel numb or tingle
• Be swollen or bruised
• Bleed if the skin is broken
• Look bent if the bones are out of place
• Be hard to move
• Keep the injured area raised above your heart as much as possible to
reduce swelling. Use pillows to raise your injured hand or foot above the
level of your heart.
• Use ice to lessen pain and swelling for the next 1-2 days. Put the bag of
ice on the cast or splint over the injury for 15-20 minutes every hour.
• Take your medicines as directed.
If you have a cast:
• Check the skin around the cast every day. Call your doctor if you have
red or sore spots.
• Put lotion on dry areas.
• Sprinkle a small amount of cornstarch or talc under the cast to soothe the
• Do not use lotion or powders if you have blisters or stitches on your skin
under the cast.
• Use a hair dryer daily, set on cool. This keeps your cast dry, comfortable
and helps relieve itching.