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Question: Advice for a Broken Arm?
My 13 year old son, Ethan broke his arm yesterday afternoon, walking home from school. He was climbing over a fence and slipped, falling onto the cement sidewalk. We took him straight to the emergency room, where they put on a temporary splint. He will go back to the doctor after the swelling is down. He did this right before a 4 day weekend so he shouldn’t have to miss any schooling, but I know that is going to be a transition.
Does anyone have any tips to make dealing with a broken arm easier, or problems we may be able to avoid? We got a special bag that will seal around his cast, to keep it dry for showering. I’m also planning on having him practice writing with his left hand, using kindergarten handwriting sheets.
Thanks so much for any advice you might have.
Our grandson when he was about that age broke his arm while skating. He slipped a penny into his cast “for good luck”. Fortunately the x-rayed his arm the next day just for routine check-up and discovered the penny.
Prop a pillow under arm when in bed or sitting helps alleviate any weight on shoulder. Cups with sipper straws built into the lid helps stop spills and is less awkward. Eating with a spoon is handiest so food can reach the mouth easier. Slip on shoes and loose fitting button down shirts make it easy to take on/off. Wet wipes are great for keeping hands clean etc as they are lighter weight than wash cloths and can get into those tight areas near the splint/cast. At school, perhaps the teachers will be lenient about allowing your child to type more than write using left hand to relieve stress while dealing with this temporary condition. Good luck and the best to you both.
Hand Washing With a Broken Arm
This page is about hand washing with a broken arm. People who have broken their arm say their biggest complaint is that they can’t wash their good hand.
A broken bone — also referred to as a fracture — can involve any one, or all, of the bones in your arm:
- humerus, upper arm bone reaching from the shoulder to the elbow
- ulna, forearm bone reaching from the elbow to the smallest finger side of the wrist, running parallel to the other, shorter, thicker forearm bone — the radius
- radius, forearm bone reaching from the elbow to the thumb side of the wrist, running parallel to the other, longer, thinner forearm bone — the ulna
If you think that you or someone you’re with has broken a bone in their arm, get medical attention as soon as possible. Prompt treatment for a fracture increases the probability of proper healing.
The first indication that you have broken a bone in your arm could be actually hearing the bone break with a snapping or cracking sound. Other symptoms include:
- deformity, arm appears to be crooked
- severe pain
- pain that increases with movement
- difficulty moving arm, especially from palm-up to palm-down or vice versa
- arm or hand feels tingly or numb
If there are deep cuts that could be part of the injury — such as a broken bone coming through the skin — there is a risk of infection. The wound will need to be cleaned and treated by a medical professional to block infectious agents such as bacteria.
Most broken arms are caused by physical trauma including:
- Falls. The most common cause of a broken arm is a fall onto an elbow or outstretched hand (trying to break the fall).
- Sports injuries. All types of arm fractures can occur from direct blows during athletic competitions.
- Severe trauma. Arm bones can be broken from direct trauma such as bicycle, motorcycle, or car accident.
Your doctor will start with a physical examination of the arm, looking for:
- blood vessel damage
- nerve damage
After the physical exam, your doctor will most likely order an X-ray to see the exact location and extent of the break — or number of breaks — in the bone. Occasionally, your doctor will want more detailed images and order an MRI or CT scan.
Treating a broken arm typically follows four steps:
- Setting the bone. The bone fragments on each side of the break have to be correctly aligned so they can grow back together. The doctor might need to perform a reduction (moving the pieces back into proper position).
- Immobilization. Your broken arm bone must be restricted in terms of movement. Depending on the type of break, your doctor might recommend a splint, a brace, a cast, or a sling.
- Medication. Based on your needs, your doctor might recommend an over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription pain reliever to lower pain and reduce inflammation. If you have an open wound accompanying the fracture, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection that could reach the bone.
- Therapy. You doctor might recommend physical therapy while your arm is still immobilized and, after the splint or cast is removed, will most likely suggest rehabilitation exercises to reestablish flexibility and muscle strength.
Sometimes surgery is necessary to properly stabilize and realign the break. In certain situations, your doctor may have to use fixation devices, such as plates and screws or rods, to keep the bones in the correct position during the healing process.
Although dependent on a number of variables from your age to the type and location of the fracture, in most cases, the cast will be on for four to six weeks and activities may be limited for two to three months after the cast is removed.
The outlook for most broken arms is positive, especially if treated early. However, there are some complications that might occur, such as:
- Infection. If a part of your broken bone breaks through your skin, it can be exposed to infection. It’s critically important that you get immediate medical treatment for this type of break — known as an open or compound fracture.
- Stiffness. Because of the immobilization necessary to heal an upper arm bone fracture, sometimes an uncomfortable limited range of motion of the shoulder or elbow occurs.
- Uneven growth. If a child whose arm bones are still growing breaks an arm bone near the end of the growth plate (end of the bone), that bone may grow unevenly in relationship to other bones.
- Arthritis. If your fracture extended into a joint, down the road (possibly many years) you may experience osteoarthritis in that joint.
- Nerve or blood vessel damage. If you break your humerus (upper arm bone) into two or more pieces, the rough ends might injure nearby blood vessels (causing circulation problems) and nerves (causing numbness or weakness).
If you break a bone in your arm, get medical attention as soon as possible. The faster you get treatment, the more likely your arm will heal properly. Proper healing will likely include four to six weeks of immobilization in a splint, brace, cast, or sling, and three to four months of limited activity and physical therapy.
Breaking an arm means kids have to sit out so many fun activities! These one handed activities for a child with a broken arm help kids cope.
My eight-year-old broke her arm this summer, and I realized just how many activities kids CAN’T do when they only have one arm they can use! Thankfully my readers and blog friends stepped in with some great activities.
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Lily’s arm broke so close to the arm socket that they opted out of putting it in any sort of cast at all – they would have had to immobilize the entire shoulder, and that creates all sorts of problems. She had a sling, instead, and was told not to move it for three weeks and to make sure nothing bumped it. But several people told me that, if your child needs a cast, you can ask for a waterproof cast so that they can keep swimming and showering without any issues.
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Eat Ice Cream
It’s nice to have a fun treat after a challenging experience. Lily definitely appreciated ice cream after a sleepless night in the emergency room! If you go with popsicles instead, try this fun ice cream stick balancing challenge from Teach Me Mommy.
Sing Your Heart Out
Singing doesn’t require any arms! My girls LOVE singing in a flashlight spotlight. Lalymom has a cute stage backdrop you can make! This is also a great time to put on a play.
Embrace Your Inner Scientist
A broken arm is a great opportunity to make some time to quietly observe the world around you. KC Edventures has some great citizen science projects to get kids started. We love this simple plants and sunlight experiment.
Build a Reading Fort
Books can provide a healthy escape for kids who hurt. Turn the couch cushions into a makeshift reading fort. Use a flashlight, lantern, or reading lamp for light.
Make a Movie
You only need one hand to make a stop motion movie! Stop motion movies are easy to make at home, and offers some great opportunities to learn through play.
Stamp a Scene
Rubber stamps are easy for kids to use even with a non-dominant arm. Several Melissa and Doug stamp sets lend themselves well to storytelling.
We recommend our glitter slime as a highly engaging activity kids can make and play with using only one arm. Potion making is another fun one-handed activity for kids.
Accommodate Favorite Activities
It’s hard for kids to give up favorite activities! Accommodate them where you can. Lily was under a strict no swimming ban from her doctor, which made her pretty sad since that’s one of her favorite pastimes. She was able to work out a way to sew one-handed – it’s so much easier to accommodate quiet activities.
Set Up a Home Spa
Try out some fancy nail painting and new hair dos. Silly nails and crazy hair can also be fun!
Painting and coloring work great one-handed. Just consider it a super creative challenge if you can’t use your dominant arm. Zentangle up your cast like Left Brain Craft Brain!
Several readers suggested quiet games. Here are a few specific recommendations:
- DIY Fabric Marble Maze
- Jacks (this works best if your child can still use their dominant hand)
- Blowing bubbles
- Guess Who
- Connect Four
- Cat Stax
Thank you to everyone who helped me come up with activities to keep Lily engaged while we waited for her arm to heal. She is so happy to have two fully functional arms now! Can you think of any fun activities for a child with a broken arm? I love hearing from my readers! Share ideas in the comments and on my Facebook page. You can also tag me on Instagram.
How to keep a 6 year old with a broken arm occupied for 6 weeks!
- Posted on 22-07-2012 at 9.51AM
My ds is 6 and very active and bright. School holidays are normally really hard work and I book him in to do some activity days spread out over the hols to keep him from going stir crazy.
He broke up from school 2 days ago and yesterday. he broke his arm! Poor thing is in pain obviously, and will be in plaster for 4-6 weeks. It looks like I am going to have to cancel plans to send him to the activity days as they are mainly doing sports. And swimming is out because he can’t get it wet. But I don’t know how to keep him occupied for all that time!
He likes reading (but can’t turn the pages on his own one handed!) and love lego (also difficult!) and playing on his computer. He can at least play on his computer but I don’t want him to do that for the whole 6 weeks!
I have a few days out planned anyway, to West Mids Safari and Sea Life Centre, but what else can I do with him? I have a 2 year old ds as well so he can’t have my attention all the time, and if we go off doing stuff it has to be suitable for the lo as well.
Oh, and we are off on holiday on Friday!
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- Posted on 22-07-2012 at 9.58AM
- Posted on 22-07-2012 at 11.25AM
To be honest, other than swimming, I don’t see any reason why he can’t do any of the things he normally does and any of the stuff you’ve mentioned. My son has had over 100 fractures and probably around 60 of those have been broken arms (he has a brittle bone condition rather than just being immensely clumsy :lol:) and they’ve never stopped him doing anything like reading, playing lego etc. Lego in particaular has always been something he tends to go back to doing whenever his arm is in plaster and it actually really helps to be using his fingers and hands in that way.
Your son only broke his arm yesterday so he will still be in a lot of pain but that will subside really quickly. Is he in a plaster of paris backslab at the moment or a full fibreglass plaster? If he’s in a backslab, I’d presume you’ve to go back to fracture clinic and have it changed and once that’s been done, he’ll be a lot more comfortable. If he’s already in fibreglass then give it a day or two, keeping up regular pain relief and he’ll be back to himself within days. Children bounce back far quicker than we do and they’re much more inclined just to carry on as normal. Try not to stop him doing his normal activities and don’t discourage him from reading or lego etc as if you advise him not to do it, he may become afraid and will stop using the arm. As silly as it sounds, that will actually cause him more pain as he’ll start to stiffen up.
Don’t worry – before you know it he’ll be swinging the arm around and forgetting it’s even in plaster
Summer is a tough time to have a broken arm, especially for active young kids. If you have other kids, summer activities can be quite a challenge while their sibling heals. Rather than spend the entire summer canceling plans, get creative so the whole family can still have plenty of fun.
Here are a few ideas:
Disc golf courses are scenic and fun to simply walk. They’re nice for hot days, because they’re mostly shaded. Many kids with a broken arm can still play the game, too. Getting started is fairly inexpensive. You can buy a starter kit and bag, or simply grab a plastic disc from home and play recreational disc golf. Search disc golf courses in your area for new places to explore and a fun new activity. Find local disc golf businesses and see if they hold any putting clinics. You can also dye your own discs for fun. For dyes, stencils and directions, visit customdiscgolfdyes.com.
There are many backyard games that are a lot of fun and don’t require the use of both arms. The wonderful thing is, some of them can be made at home. Games such as washers, lawn darts and ladderball can help pass the hours. Create a backyard carnival with games, party foods and balloons. Construct a ring-toss game out of a case of glass soda pop bottles and plastic rings, set up a beanbag toss or do face painting; you can even use two-liter bottles or plastic powdered creamer containers and a ball to make a homemade bowling game.
Head to your local nature center for a hike. Many nature centers have self-guided indoor exploration areas. Create a scavenger hunt for playing out on the trails. Look for items in nature such as pinecones, wildflowers, stones, feathers, etc. You can be more creative than simply creating a list on paper and giving your kids a bag. For at home or at the park, write the alphabet out on pavement, then have the kids look for items that begin with each letter and place the item on the corresponding letter. For tougher letters such as X and Z, have kids draw a picture with chalk. Or use an egg carton as a collection container, color-code it with paint or construction paper and have kids gather items according to color. For an example, visit elsiemarley.com/summer-journal-scavenger-hunt.html.
If your local nature center doesn’t have exploration backpacks, create your own. Include items such as binoculars, bug collection jars, magnifying glasses, nets, paper and crayons for drawing or making bark rubbings. The dollar stores have many of these items, and they often carry cute over-the-shoulder canteens. Catch and release frogs from a pond, or identify animals and plants. Nature centers offer many indoor and outdoor summer workshops for kids, too. Bring a camera and let your child take his or her own photos.
Whether it’s at home, at a theater or a drive-in, enjoy a summer movie complete with popcorn and boxed candy. If indoors, set up indoor camping with a tent, indoor fort or just pillows and blankets on the floor. To see if there’s a drive-in near you, visit drive-ins.com. If there isn’t one near you, look for any local establishment that might hold outdoor movie nights with movies projected on a wall or on an inflatable screen.
Gather up a variety of sundae fixings and set up a grand sundae bar. You can make it simple or go all out with toppings. There are so many ways to make this outrageously fun with a variety of cones, ice cream, fruits, syrups, etc. Sundae glasses can be found dirt-cheap at the thrift store. Or check out this awesome sundae trough made from a section of gutters: chicaandjo.com/2011/07/22/ice-cream-party.
Clearly a child shouldn’t be biking on his own with a broken arm, but families can see if there are surreys or pedicabs available to rent at their local bike shop. Take a tour around your area.
Check out all of the fun summer activities at your local library. Many offer story hours, movie days, magic shows and make-and-take craft days.
Recently, I fell while running in my basement and broke my right wrist. Yes, you read that right. I run [ran] 5K in an oval in my basement three times a week, because I’m afraid of falling off a treadmill or tripping in a pothole outside. . .
Smile: compliments of dilaudid.
That morning, I caught my toe on the splayed leg of our aged ping-pong table. It seemed like it took about five minutes to hit the concrete floor, and on the way, I had plenty of time to think about how this wasn’t gonna be good.
I knew this because about 10 years ago, I was walking the dog, wearing clogs in the rain, and fell on my left wrist, requiring the surgical implantation of hardware that remains there today. I was probably trying to shield that wrist and ended up breaking my right radius into 15 pieces, which somehow managed to stay together, so, I probably won’t need surgery (fingers crossed). We’re three weeks post-injury, and the bone man will make his final decision next week.
Anyhow, it’s bad enough to break your non-dominant arm, but what happens when you break your right wrist, and you’re right handed? What do you do when the ER folks are overzealous and splint you up to the tips of your fingers and practically up to your armpit, and you’re in it for a week?
You know this will be over in a month or two, and you don’t want to abuse your Amazon Prime with dedicated handicap aids, so how do you function? Here are seven tips that won’t break the bank, if you’re ever without the use of your dominant hand.
- For bathing (a): Pump bottles of shampoo and body wash in the shower. I just happened to purchase these in pump form before my fall, and I’m glad I did. I must be psychic.
- For bathing (b): Invest in a commercial cast protector rather than a plastic bag and a rubber band. You can put it on by yourself! Yes, it will set you back about $15, but that’s better than having to deal with a wet arm or having to be recasted because you have water in your cast or splint. CURAD® has a good one, but I wish they made a long-arm version. I had one for my last break, but I don’t know what happened to it.
- To open jars: Use two of those rubber grippers you got at the bank, one on the counter, and one to turn the lid. This really works, and I may use this hack to open spaghetti sauce jars forever! If this doesn’t work, you can try placing the jar between your knees and use the rubber gripper to turn the lid.
- To open lids, in general: Remember to turn the opposite way than you are used to. It takes an actual thought process to remember this. If you can’t get into your pain-med bottle, use the rubber-gripper hack above to push down on the lid. If you have the kind that requires you to push the tab down and then turn the lid, you may need assistance.
- For food prep: If you need to slice fruits and vegetables and no one else is around, use an electric knife. If you don’t have an electric knife, borrow one, but don’t buy one. You can buy plenty of precut fruits and veggies at the grocery store.
- To use scissors: I got this tip from a lefty friend. Turn the scissors upside down. Yes, you might pinch your fingers in the smaller hole, but it works.
- To open a Ziploc®bag: There are always your teeth, but when that gets old and your teeth get sore, you can hold down one side with your ring finger and pull up on the other with your thumb and middle finger. It works!
I hope these tips help you if you ever are without the use of your dominant hand. Do you have any other tips to share with us? Please comment below!
I got a white cast, so people could sign it in many colors. Here’s what it looked like on the way home.
(You might wonder how I typed this post with one hand. I’m happy to say that I have a short-arm cast now, and I started typing with both hands two days ago, thanks to ibuprofen!)
Update: June 27, 2017 – Even my English major eye could tell that the bone didn’t look good on the X-ray this this morning. So, there will be surgery later this week. I guess I’ll get to use my new skills for a bit longer!
Update: July 23, 2017 – Surgery went well, and I’m on the road to recovery. I have a removable splint, instead of a cast, so I was able to start PT one week after surgery!
Update: October 11, 2017 – Here are some things that breaking my dominant wrist taught me:
Breaking an arm takes a lot of activities off the table, and that’s why you’ll want to find the perfect gifts for someone with a broken arm . Not only will these gifts bring back joy into their lives, but they also tell them how much you care.
–> Here are a few gifts you can get someone with a broken arm as well as a couple of broken arm gag gifts because having a broken arm doesn’t mean they’ve lost their sense of humor.
You’ll Need to Know These Things Before Getting Gifts for Someone with a Broken Arm
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Before we get to that though, there are a couple of things you need to know about people with broken arms. It’s a pretty safe bet that if you’ve never broken your arm, everything you know about arm fractures comes from Hollywood. That means you probably don’t know anything about broken arms because movies tend to get a lot of things wrong . If you’re to believe Hollywood movies, you’d think courtrooms are all about lawyers shouting “Objection!” and the judge slamming their gavels yelling “Order in the court!”
So the next time you see a hero in the movie shrug off a broken arm or wrist, don’t think it happens in real life. Here are a couple of other things you might not have known about folks with a broken arm.
Our Gift To You: Find out how to download This Free Printable broken arm greeting card at the end of this article.
1. Breaking an Arm Makes you Pretty Much Dependent on Others
We use our arms in almost everything we do. The only thing we can think of where we don’t summon the versatility of our arms is walking -although they kind of get involved somewhere. You can’t walk with a stiff upper body like a robot. You find yourself swinging your arms, even if it’s a slight swing, to keep us balanced .
So, yeah. Your arms and hands are pretty important. Science agrees , noting that the development of our limbs, more so the arms, got us to where we are – at the top of the food chain.
So, when you break an arm, you literally go down a notch in the evolution ladder, figuratively of course. With a broken arm, you pretty much have to rely on others to help you with:
- Feeding yourself (if you break both arms)
- Answering your phone (because multitasking with a broken arm is like white water rafting while steering with your legs)
- Reaching for items
- Opening doors
- Using the bathroom (if you break both arms)
And a whole bunch of things.
While Furiosa in Mad Max kind of looked cool and kicked butt with her metallic arm, you can bet going to the bathroom with that thing strapped on has its fair share of challenges.
Breaking an arm takes away your confidence and self-esteem because you are dependent on others to get day-to-day stuff done.
When you’re shopping around for gifts for someone with a broken arm , look for something that gives them their independence back. In fact, if you’re looking into how to cheer up a kid with a broken arm , go for something that helps them do what they love without having to rely on others.
2. They Don’t Like Reliving The Moment They Broke Their Arm
A person with a cast on their arm spends pretty much every single minute outside answering one question: “How did you break your arm? Did you fall off a plane?”
No one wants to be reminded of how their forearm, or any other bone in their arm, went Snap! Pop! Crackle!
Just think about it. It was probably the single most physically painful moment in their lives. And no one seems to realize this because when we see a cast on someone’s arm, we instinctively ask them how it got there. It’s pretty much the same feeling someone in a wheelchair gets if everyone they met asked them how they ended up on the chair.
It’s insensitive and a bit rude to ask them how they broke their arm. Don’t surprise if they retorted with “Did YOU jump out of a plane?”
When you’re looking for broken wrist gift ideas, you might want to steer clear of anything that would make other people ask how the person broke his arm.
The right gifts for someone with a broken arm take the attention from the stiff cast on their arms and divert it to the actual person. This is probably why you shouldn’t be thinking of gifts for pc gamer boyfriend right after he fractures his arm. It only reminds him he can’t use his arm and draws all attention to his temporary disability.
3. It’s a Huge Pain to Take a Shower with a Cast on your Arm
You probably figured this out on your own, but let’s put it out there. The first thing cast wearers learn is how much of a struggle showering or taking a bath becomes. Right after the doc fastens the cast on an arm, he tells them “Don’t get it wet!”
Suddenly, they realize they’ll have to get a little creative in the bathroom for the next six weeks or till the bones mend. If they don’t get creative enough, the only feasible solution would be not showering until the cast comes off. Not an ideal practical solution, is it?
You can make their lives a little easier by finding gifts for someone with a broken arm . And we’re not talking about plastic bags here. Put some thought into it and come up with a practical gift that doesn’t say “I strolled through Wal-Mart and immediately I saw this plastic bag, I thought of you!”
4. Casts are Itchy
A couple of hours after getting a cast, whether it’s the plaster kind or the fiberglass kind, the skin under it tends to become irritated. A person feels so itchy that they’re literally willing to stick anything under the cast to scratch that itch. People have stuck forks, sticks, and a variety of kitchen utensils down their cast to send that nagging itch into oblivion.
But that does nothing more than pissing off the itch. It comes back with a vengeance making them want to constantly shove your favorite pancake spatula deep into the cast.
There are tons of things you can do to help them get rid of that itch. You can have them rest the arm on an elevated area using pillows to keep the limb from swelling up and making them itch. You can also apply ice on the affected arm or encourage them to keep on moving fingers on the injured limbs.
Allowing them to stick objects inside the cast to scratch that itch, while making the brain glee from the elevated serotonin levels can cause further injuries or infections.
As a matter of fact, we have the perfect gift guaranteed to get rid of that itch at the end of the article.
That’s about it. You have all the knowledge you need to find the perfect gifts for someone with a broken arm.
But we want to make your search a bit easier by suggesting a few gifts that are not only practical but fun. Here they are:
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Well moms, it happened. My son broke his elbow falling off his bike, and I was introduced to the world of having a kiddo in a cast. While I’m grateful it wasn’t a worse break (remember when Meredith’s son broke his femur bone and landed in a hip spica cast?!), not knowing how to handle a broken bone was unnerving! After his arm was casted, our doctor gave us three orders; don’t get the cast wet, stay calm, and do not increase risks of falls. Suddenly I was left with a high strung five-year-old with one functioning arm and my plans of endless pool and playground days came to a screeching halt. Keep a five-year-old calm for a month?! I had no idea what to do to entertain him for the next month. Since this happened in the summer and it was hot outside, anything we did outdoors led to him complaining of his arm sweating, and who could blame him? Over the course of the month, I eventually figured out some fun activities for kids in a cast to do that wouldn’t hurt my son’s cast or get him wet, and I’m here to share.
10 Fun Activities for Kids in a Cast:
- Storytime– Fortunately, we have some fantastic local libraries and hit up all of the storytimes we could to get his energy out in an educational way.
- Train tracks– This was an easy activity for him to build with one hand and kept him entertained for many days. Would also work for a kiddo who couldn’t walk and had to stay seated or lie down.
- Board games– We had quite a few board game days where we would play for hours! A sedentary activity, they were easy to do one-handed and kept my son’s brain moving.
- Train ride– We are lucky to have two railroads close to us, and taking a ride was the perfect day outing for a child with a broken bone.
- Treasure/ Scavenger hunt– Take items and hide them around the house (or in a bin of sand/corn flour for those who can’t walk), pretend to be a pirate looking for treasure and the frustration of a broken arm will soon be forgotten!
- Zoo/Aquarium– Both of these are perfect for a child with a broken limb as neither is too physically strenuous, but they are still able to see all of the animals.
- Farm– If there is a local farm nearby, see if you can go visit the animals or watch the farm equipment. We loved petting sheep and goats at our local farm!
- Outdoor concerts- Usually at your local park, there are so many of these in the summer evenings when the heat of the sun has lessened. We loved to pack a dinner and listen to some tunes.
- Farmer’s market- My son loved going to these with me in the mornings, especially since he had say over what was for dinner and got lots of fun free samples!
- Movies- Special time at a movie of his choosing with popcorn really helped him forget about missing out on pool time with his friends. Check your local community site for a listing of free movies in the warmer months!
Let’s face it; keeping a young child calm is no easy task for a parent no matter the weather outside. These ten fun activities for kids in a cast really helped to not only keep him distracted from the fact that he was only able to use one arm, but also keep him entertained enough that he stayed busy and calm (per doctor’s orders!) throughout the day. If your child is stuck in a cast, try some of these to keep them amused without stress, mama!
Shifts in the Brain Improve Skills So You’re Not a Klutz for Long, Study Shows
Jan. 16, 2012 — Breaking an arm and wearing a sling or a cast is a real inconvenience, to say the least. When it’s the arm you depend on to eat, write, dress, brush your teeth, bathe, and do most everything, well, that’s when all the fun begins.
But Swiss researchers have discovered that the brain adjusts quickly to a broken limb. It doesn’t take long — perhaps a week or two — before shifts in the brain occur so people can adapt to their new circumstances and be less clumsy in using their other arm.
A new study has shown that two weeks after a broken arm, there’s an increase in the size of the brain areas needed to compensate for the injury, and a decrease in areas of the brain not being used while in a sling or cast. This rapid reorganization of the brain allows someone who is usually right-handed, for example, to transfer skills to the left hand while the hurt arm heals.
This finding is not only important for those with broken arms who temporarily need to rely on their less-used limb. It may also apply to people who are recovering from a stroke and working to regain lost motor skills.
“These results are especially interesting for rehabilitation therapy for people who’ve had strokes or other issues,” researcher Nicolas Langer, MSc, says in a news release. He is a neuropsychology researcher at the University of Zurich in Switzerland.
The study is published in the journal Neurology.
How the Brain Adapts
In this small study, researchers asked 10 healthy people who were right-handed and broke a bone in their upper arm to have two MRIs. The first brain scan took place within two days of the injury and a second one occurred a little more than two weeks after getting a sling or cast.
Scientists tested how well the usual right-handers could move their left hand and use it to perform various tasks. Scans allowed them to see how certain regions of the brain had adapted to people having their dominant hand immobilized for at least 14 days.
Researchers observed that even within two weeksвЂ™ time, the volunteers were much better at using their left hand than they had been two days after the injury. Regions in the brain’s left hemisphere linked with the use of the right hand had decreased in size.
Areas in the brain that improved skills in the left hand had increased in size, giving a person better movement and hand control in the uninjured arm. In other words, the sling or cast was doing its job of resting the limb so it could heal. And the brain had reorganized by forming new connections between brain cells to compensate for these changes.
In fact, the better an injured person could now do a usual task with his left hand, whether it was using a computer mouse or buttoning a shirt, the thicker the areas in the brain’s right hemisphere, which control the task, had become.
“The findings highlight the capacity of the human brain to adapt rapidly to changing demands,” write the researchers.
Langer, M. Neurology, Jan. 17, 2012.
News release, American Academy of Neurology.
Does anyone have any ideas for a kid with a broken arm? He is right handed and his left arm is broken. He can’t swim, ride a bike or rollerskate. Can somebody please help alleviate his boredom?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
It’s important to find active things he CAN do, or he’ll feel helpless and like he can’t do anything. Go for walks, frisbee, catch maybe, soccer, lawn bowling, playing with a dog, indoor stuff like painting etc. Be creative, you can always modify activities to work for him.
This Site Might Help You.
Any fun summertime activities for an 11 year old with a broken arm? Please help.?
Does anyone have any ideas for a kid with a broken arm? He is right handed and his left arm is broken. He can’t swim, ride a bike or rollerskate. Can somebody please help alleviate his boredom?
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Hopefully this is a time in his life when he will discover some new interests.
Art school, Computer programing, cooking, skydiving(no just kidding) chemistry. There’s a lot of things that a kid can get into that don’t include physical challenges.
Try the cooking thing. It worked for me when I was a kid.
I am currently recovering from a broken leg. You see, I thought it would be a great idea to try ice skating for the first time in my 30s. I was seriously only out the ice for five minutes before I slipped and broke my ankle. To make a long story short, my fall ended with a trip to the emergency room in an ambulance and surgery a week later. While recovering from a broken leg I have learned there are a few key things needed to keep your sanity.
1. Good Support System
The first thing you will need while recovering from a broken leg is a good support system. If you are like me, being dependent upon others is hard. IвЂ™ve always been the one that others lean on. Now I find myself asking for help. ItвЂ™s weird and uncomfortable, but fortunately I have a terrific husband that doesnвЂ™t think twice about helping me out. He even carries my purse for me when I ask.
2. Plenty of Entertainment
Being limited in activities means I need plenty of other things to keep me entertained. Luckily I have friends from near and far to talk to on the phone. IвЂ™ve also had several family members from out of state keep me entertained by playing вЂњWords with FriendsвЂќ over our smart phones. I love technology. I am also all caught up on my favorite TV shows, watched plenty of movies and marked off several books from my reading bucket list. If youвЂ™ve ever been out of commission, how did you stay entertained?
Having a creative mind is key. Every now and then I find myself in an awkward predicament. Of course if I were able to move freely the situation wouldnвЂ™t be an issue, but with a large cast and strict orders from the doctor to not bear any weight on the broken leg, simple tasks become huge problems. ThatвЂ™s where creativity comes into play. My crutches double as giant arms and chopsticks. I can turn light switches on and off from across the room and pick up things off the floor with my crutches. IвЂ™ve also turned a rolling desk chair into my personal means of transportation through the house.
4. Sense of Humor
At the moment, my slip was far from humorous. I wanted to cry, scream, and curse, but managed to keep it together (mostly because my daughter was watching and on the verge of freaking out). Since then, IвЂ™ve found the humor in my situation. It’s better to have fun with my broken leg than to sit around and feel bad for myself, itвЂ™s just a temporary setback.
5. Cast Protector
This is by far one of the greatest inventions for people in casts ever. If you ever break a leg or arm and have to stay in a cast for several weeks, you are going to want to get one of these. Mine is a seal tight plastic boot. It slides over the my cast and seals around my leg so I can take a shower without getting my cast wet. Pure genius!
6. Eating Healthy
With a broken leg I canвЂ™t really get out and exercise like I want. While I always try to eat healthy, I feel the need to pay even closer attention to what I eat. My bones are mending. I want to put nutrients into my body to help that process. IвЂ™ve been eating plenty of leafy greens, fresh fruits, and lean meats. IвЂ™ve also cut out carbonated drinks and mostly drink water.
Six to eight weeks is a long time to be out of commission. This is especially true if you are a mom, work, or have an active lifestyle. ItвЂ™s hard to sit and know you are missing out on certain things that you were looking forward to doing, or knowing that some plans are going to change slightly. I broke my leg while we were moving into a new house. Moving plans couldnвЂ™t be put on hold, but some of the unpacking has been put off until I am out of my cast. IвЂ™ve had to learn to be patient and know that the things I want done will have to wait a few more weeks.
I would love to hear other people’s experience in a cast. How did you manage to keep your sanity?
ABOUT THE REVIEWER
Aubrey Bailey, PT, DPT, CHT
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Recovery time for a fractured wrist depends on the person and the depth of the fracture; a cast may be worn anywhere from several weeks to a few months. Being sidelined for all that time can be extremely frustrating. Though you may not be able to play your favorite sport, there are ways to stay active during the course of your injury. Ask your doctor for guidance on how to exercise with a broken wrist and how gradually to ramp up your intensity.
Exercising with a cast on your arm is challenging, but you can maintain your fitness by focusing on your lower body and core. You can also do cardio training that doesn’t require pressure on your hands or arms, such as stationary cycling. Consult your doctor before performing any of these exercises with a fractured wrist.
Cardio With a Broken Wrist
Certain cardiovascular exercises can be performed with a fractured wrist, as long as your doctor gives you permission and if the sweat factor, which may moisten your cast, isn’t a concern. Choosing your activities wisely can help you to get an efficient workout without risking any further damage to your arm. For example, stationary cycling and elliptical training are both exercise options that do not require much use of your hand and allow for easy body stabilization.
Avoid activities that increase your chance of falling, such as inline skating, running and jumping on a trampoline. The rowing machine requires pressure to be placed on both hands and wrists, and should, therefore, be eliminated as an option.
Leg Strengthening Exercises
Though it is your wrist that is injured and not your legs, there are still precautions to take when training your lower body. Exercise machines such as the leg press and leg curl are ideal since they do not require much interaction with your hands.
Avoid any exercises where you have to hold weights in both hands, such as barbell squats or deadlifts using a barbell for resistance. Holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in your good hand while performing exercises such as squats, lunges and deadlifts is likely OK, though keep in mind the single-handed hold will mean using lower resistance levels than normal. Stay away from exercises where you may easily fall or jar your wrist, such as jump squats and box jumps.
Core Strengthening Workout
Keeping up your core strength is a good way of exercising with a cast on your arm and can help you to maintain proper posture and body alignment through your injury. The best abdominal exercises to perform with a broken wrist are those that require sitting or lying on the floor, such as crunches, V-ups, stomach hollowing and supine snow angels. Avoid exercises that place pressure on your hand, wrist or arm, such as planks, stability ball knee tucks, bird-dogs and medicine ball trunk rotations.
Upper Body Workout During Recovery
Your uninjured arm will be compensating for the fractured wrist, so it is important to keep it healthy. Single-arm strengthening exercises that do not put the injured wrist in harm’s way can be performed, though you may be limited in choices. These can include biceps curls, triceps extensions, shoulder presses and lateral raises for toning and strengthening.
A THREE-month-old baby boy was left with a broken arm, leg and ribs after allegedly being tortured by his own father in their Carrara home.
The incident has left the baby recovering in hospital, with some of the fractures believed to be from injuries weeks ago.
About six fractures were found throughout the boy’s small body.
He was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital on Tuesday but it was not until late Wednesday that police charged the 23-year-old father-of-two.
The man appeared in Southport Magistrates Court yesterday on the torture charges as well as assault and causing wilful damage.
He applied for bail but almost immediately withdrew the application after Magistrate Bernadette Callaghan considered his extensive criminal history, which included a number of breaches of bail, failure to appear in court and breach of probation conditions.
The man is also serving a suspended prison sentence handed down on February 2 for sexual assault.
He has a three-year-old daughter and has been in relationship with the baby’s mother for at least three years.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Mike Campbell said the alleged injuries would have occurred after the suspended sentence was handed down.
Throughout the hearing the man remained silent and looked around the room when he entered, dressed in a brown prison jumper and pants.
His parents were at court all day but were not the courtroom when the matter was heard in the afternoon.
Neither the baby’s mother nor her family attended court during the day.
Photos on her Facebook profile show the man had recently had the mother’s name tattooed on his neck.
The photos also show a number of happy family shots of the couple and their two children.
The man’s father said he and his wife had adopted him when he was just 10 months old.
“It’s very distressing really,” he said.
“He does have a bit of a heavy hand but I don’t think he would really hurt his own child.”
The accused’s father, who is in his late 70s, had driven to the Gold Coast from Brisbane for the hearing but was still searching for answers.
He said they had been told very little about what had happened.
“What I have been told is that the baby was taken to hospital with broken bones,” he said.
“The doctors say that some of the injuries are dated and they are a couple of weeks old.”
The boy has about six fractures, including a broken leg and arm.
“Other than that, I don’t know. I am waiting to hear a full story from someone,” he said.
The father said his son’s relationship with the mother of the boy had been quite volatile for quite some time.
“They argue all the time – it’s not a very good relationship at all,” he said.
The matter will return to Southport Magistrates Court on July 28.
July 10, 2012 by Renina
My hand in the cast after the cast has been cut open the day after surgery for observation. Yes, the surgeons wrote “Yes” on my left thumb to ensure that they operated on the correct hand. Holy shit Gina.
The day after I wrote the most recent post I got into a car accident where I broke both of the bones in my left arm at the wrist.
A fucking doozy, no?
I am still working on the projects that I outlined, in fact some have grown others have shrunk, but perhaps most importantly I want to share what I have learned.
First it is incredibly difficult to get dressed with one hand. All of your clothes have to be stretchy. Getting dressed takes incredibly long.
Second, doctors do not like to prescribe narcotic pain killers, I assume largely because they are regulated by the DEA.
Third the people who showed up to the hospital meant a lot to me. I ended up having to have surgery on my wrist, that shit was the devil. So I stayed in the hospital for a few days for observation purposes. They wanted to make sure the swelling went down and that there wasn’t any nerve damage. I didn’t want to eat. I just wanted iced coffee, smoothies and news papers. Thank you to everyone who showed up and brought those items. In some ways the world bifurcated into the people who showed up and those who didn’t. I resisted thinking along those lines, largely because of the lost that it represents. Honestly I am grateful for the fact that anyone showed up. Some people go to the hospital and they don’t have anyone who gives a flying fuck about them. #boom.
Which brings me to the pain of having my bones reset by hand by Dr. Akimbo. Fourth, the most painful part of this ordeal, other than experiencing the break was having my hand reset. He was obligated to try and reset it before actually operating on me. I was conscious, he stuck a four inch needle filled with lidocaine in my arm, hung my hand up by my thumb and proceeded to squeeze my arm to move bones around. The. Most. Painful. Full stop.
Fifth, when you only have one hand, you have to be very creative about how you solve problems. You want to crack pepper? Figure it out. You want to open a lemonade jar, figure it out. Your one hand is full and you need to open the front door, figure it out.
Six, fucked up things happen when people don’t yield. Fundamentally, I believe and I have had a lot of time to sit and think about this, I believe that being unwilling to yield is rooted in a persons ego. Why else wouldn’t a person stop if it is not their turn to go? They have to have in their head that it is not someone elses turn but their own turn. This flies in the face of one of the fundamental kindergarten lessons that we learn; sharing.
Seven, I didn’t realize until two weeks ago that I am (temporarily) disabled.
Eight, sometimes God sits you down. I had all these summer plans gina, and they just had to be put on hold. There is some shit that you cannot do with one arm. o.O
With that being said, I Love all of y’all and thank you for reading. I am glad to be alive.
Summer time. It’s supposed to be a fun time to hang out with friends, meet boys and go swimming. Having a broken bone doesn’t even cross you’re mind. But what if you did break a bone during the summer? You wouldn’t be able to go swimming. If it was a foot or leg or ankle break and/or sprain then it would complicate things even more. You couldn’t go to the mall on crutches, or if you did, it’d be very hard because you couldn’t carry your shopping bags. Broken bones can really affect your social life and your summer fun. But it doesn’t have to. Here’s some ideas that you can do so that you can still have fun regardless of your broken bones.
- Get a mani or pedi. If you’ve got a broken foot/leg get a mani with a friend. If you’ve got a broken wrist/arm/finger get a pedi with a friend.
- Go to the movies. A broken arm shouldn’t affect this. If you’re on crutches, you might have some difficulty getting up the stairs to the seats, so try sitting in the middle instead of the way back.
- Make a scrap book online. It might be hard with a broken arm, but it shouldn’t be hard with a broken leg. A good website for making a scrapbook would be www.shutterfly.com Another website to edit pictures on is www.picnik.com
- Make your own music. Try your hand at writing songs. If you hurt your arm, maybe even make a music video with your friends. If you’ve broken your leg, maybe film your friends in a video or even be in some scenes sitting down.
I hope none of you DO have a broken bone (like I do) but if you or a friend does, try doing one of these activities.
Written by rebecca · Filed Under Life Advice
In this Article
In this Article
In this Article
- Call 911 if:
- 1. Stop the Bleeding if Necessary
- 2. Reduce Swelling
- 3. Immobilize Arm
- 4. See a Health Care Provider Immediately
- 5. Follow Up
Call 911 if:
- The person is seriously injured
- You suspect an injury to the personвЂ™s head, neck, or back
- Bone is sticking out of the skin
- Bleeding doesn’t stop after several minutes of firm pressure
- Blood spurts from the wound
1. Stop the Bleeding if Necessary
- Apply firm pressure to the wound area with a clean cloth until bleeding stops.
- If bone is pushing through skin, do not touch it or try to put it back in place.
2. Reduce Swelling
- Apply ice.
- Elevate the arm above the heart, if possible.
3. Immobilize Arm
For less serious injuries:
- Cut away the sleeve if it cannot be removed without moving the injured arm.
- If you can without moving the arm, carefully tape it to rolled-up newspaper or a ruler with first aid tape.
4. See a Health Care Provider Immediately
5. Follow Up
- The health care provider will likely take X-rays and may apply a cast or splint.
- Surgery may be needed to reset the bone or realign broken pieces.
- A bone that has broken through the skin will require cleaning and possibly surgery.
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: “Broken Arm.”
KidsHealth: “Broken Bones” and “Broken Bones Instruction Sheet.”
American Academy of Family Physicians: “Casts and Splints.”
Asked by Wiki User
February 02, 2011 8:43PM
Please see a doctor if you seriously believe your arm is broken.
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My son is 4 years old and turning 5 on 9/21. But, he broke his arm and dislocated his elbow over the Labor Day weekend. Initially, he was going to celebrate with his friends at a gymnastic center. Now, he is in a cast and with limited physical ability. We need help on some ideas to have a fun birthday party without postponing for 3 months. We live in Chicago, and this is his first birthday party with his friends. Please help. We are bumped about it. And he is sad that he can’t play baseball for awhile. Thanks! –>
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Not sure how many friends you’re talking about, but what about a trip to the museum, aquarium, or planetarium? They may even have birthday packages if you inquire. Or go to the zoo and have a fun picnic. Of course you would need additional adults to help keep a eye on everyone too.
You could do something at home and pick a fun theme. Someone posted on here awhile back about a circus theme, and I’ve since seen companies where you can rent all kinds of cool stuff like popcorn machines, cotton candy machines, projector screens (for movies in the backyard!). I almost can’t wait for my little one to grow up so we can do something like that. Have fun!
In addition to the featured places listed at the top, you can click on “Places to Party” in the yellow area at the bottom and get a list of hundreds of places in the Chicago area to have a party. If you become a member of kidwinks, which is free, you can then sort that list by distance from your house, to easily see which are closest to you. Nature centers often have animal-themed birthday parties where the kids get to pet a few different animals.
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November 11, 2017
A broken leg isn’t an easy experience for anyone to deal with, but it can be extremely tough on kids. My daughter recently was hurt playing soccer, and it has been a struggle to keep her from going stir crazy while she can’t be up and about on her feet. Here are a few ways our family has been keeping her entertained and distracted from the injury:
Being able to spend time playing her Nintendo 3DS XL portable gaming system has really helped overcome her disappointment about being laid up in her cast. What is really nice about this device is it provides impressive 3-D imagery without the use of glasses to see the special effects. Kids can simply adjust a lever along the screen to turn the 3-D effects on and off. The Nintendo 3DS XL also has a camera, a web browser, and a lot of other really great features to it. Plus, a huge library of awesome games.
Two of my daughter’s favorites are Miitopia and Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions . In Miitopia, players can customize character’s called Miis within the game to look like family members and friends to engage in a fairytale-style adventure. In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions, the plumber brothers team up with their longtime adversary on a fun-filled quest to Beanbean Kingdom. Kids can play one game from Mario & Luigi’s angle and another from the perspective of Bowser and his Minions. Mario and Luigi have a variety of goofy techniques known as Bros. Moves used to solve puzzles and overcome challenges on their adventure while Bowser’s Minions is more of a battlefield turn-based strategy game.
LEGO DIMENSIONS is another great video game (we have the PlayStation 4 version). This game combines physical LEGO mini-figures and brick building with the quirky fun from LEGO TV shows, movies, and video games. Plus, the game lets kids combine characters from multipele franchises, and features tons of super females, including Abby Yates (Ghostbusters), Chell (PortalL 2), Hermoine Granger (Harry Potter), Nya (LEGO Ninjago), Starfire (Teen Titans Go!), Wonder Woman (DC Comics), and Wyldstyle (The LEGO Movie). Plus, my little girl loves E.T.—a favorite from my childhood—which is also featured in the game, and provides a nice connection for some daddy-daughter time.
Find It games, from Identity Games, are also a great way to pass some time when you are stuck in bed or sitting on a couch. A number of treasures are hidden within a sealed container filled with beads, and kids have to find them by shaking the container around. My daughter loves the “Where’s Waldo” edition of the game, but there are a variety of themes to choose from, including Captain Underpants and Sesame Street.
The Crayola Fashion Superstar kit is great for kids who love to design their own outfits. This set lets kids color in pre-drawn clothing pieces in a sketchbook and scan their designs into an app for a personalized virtual reality fashion superstar experience. My daughter’s attention and imagination have been captured by this wonderful Crayola product.
While toys and games are great, of course we want some of her time to be spent on educational and productive things, like reading. We discovered some adorable Head Lites from Hog Wild Toys that provide the perfect illumination for reading. Plus, wearing one makes reading time much more fun! There are a number of animals to choose from, ranging from chickens to wolves, so you’re sure to find one that will delight any kid to wear.
My daughter really enjoys flipping through the pages of Adventures in History and other books by Richard Unglik that are full of incredible illustrations featuring Playmobil toys. The book features images of knights jousting, man’s first step on the moon, and the fall of the Berlin Wall portrayed with Playmobil figures and accessories—impressive. Additionally, she likes to read Amelia Bedelia, Judy Moody, and Disney The Never Girls stories.
While being disappointed in not being able to play at recess or continue participating in dance, soccer, or swimming for awhile, we’ve been gradually seeing my daughter’s frowns flip to smiles. Making sure she has some amusing ways to pass the time beyond just watching movies and TV have contributed to her positively coping with the injury. Though, she still counts down to me every morning before school the number of days until the doctor has cleared her to be able to start jumping, skipping, and running again.
What are some of your favorite activities and games that your family turns to when you have a sick child stuck in bed or with restricted mobility while healing from an injury?
As I’ve previously moaned, last week I broke my wrist, fracturing both my ulna and radius, and this has resulted in me having my radius surgically fixed with a plate screwed into both bits of the fractured bone. When my mum fractured her humerous eight years, I hadn’t realised quite how restrictive it was, BUT I DO NOW!
10 Things You Can’t Do With A Broken Wrist.
- Share a bed;
- Due to restrictions on my sleeping position and the abundance of pillows used to prop me and my arm up, my poor husband has about 50cm of our king-size bed to lie on. Once I’m in the right supportive position, the poor bloke has to get into position and NOT MOVE all night; we’re both exhausted!
- Stay awake;
- Painkillers, that’s all I’m saying.
- Wash your hair;
- Two hands needed, especially if you’re like me and bend over to wash your hair. I’m having to get my mum to do it; that’s not happened in 28 years.
- Pull your underwear up;
- I’m determined that no-one will help me with this one, I’ve got my pride. However, I’m getting my knickers in a real twist at the moment, particularly when they get stuck on my left hip and I can’t undo them.
- Do your bra up;
- I’m one of those that does bras up at the back, with both hands. I’ll leave you to work that one out shall I?
- I’ve got minimal movement in the fingers on my left-hand, and my thumb is incredibly stiff which means I’ve got no pincer grip. And while not everyone crochets, most underestimate how much they use both hands to manipulate something.
- I type with both hands, but only with my thumb, index and middle fingers on my right hand, and my thumb and index finger on my left hand. This post has taken more than an hour to type. Unbelievably frustrating.
- I could actually cry about this one. I love driving, and I love my independence.
- Grocery shopping;
- I work part-time and do the shopping on a Thursday. Not being able to drive means we’re running low on all the bits that my husband doesn’t think to buy. And Aldi don’t do home-delivery!!
- Be a good mother;
- Words are failing me on how frustrated I am. I can’t cuddle The Boy properly, prepare food, lift him up in the night or when he’s hurt to comfort him, play with him properly, or stay patient. It’s soul-destroying.
I real feel for you and I didn’t just snigger at the knickers in a twist on your left hip.
🙁 I am sorry things are difficult at the moment. I hope that you have a quick recovery. Sending cake, gin and hugs x
I really feel for you, it must be so frustrating. It DOESN’T mean you can’t be a good mother though, maybe a slightly more cranky one, or maybe a less able one but you are still a good mother – just one with a broken wrist xx
Jonathan Cluett, MD, is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon with subspecialty training in sports medicine and arthroscopic surgery.
igor kisselev / Moment / Getty Images
- Fractures & Broken Bones
- Home Office Ergonomics
- Sprains & Strains
- Physical Therapy
- Orthopedic Surgery
- Pediatric Orthopedics
- Sports Injuries
- Shoulder & Elbow
- Hip & Knee
- Hand & Wrist
- Leg, Foot & Ankle
- Assistive Devices & Orthotics
- Medication & Injections
Having a cast for treatment of a broken bone can elicit different emotions. While some are excited to have a cast, this often quickly turns into annoyance with the realization that you may have to learn to do simple activities in a new way. Fortunately, you are not the first person to have a cast, and those before you have figured out tips and tricks to make having a cast not as difficult an experience.
What Casts Are Made Of
Casts are usually made from either plaster or fiberglass. Each of these materials has advantages and disadvantages. The plaster is usually used in the early stages of treatment because it can be molded more precisely. Fiberglass is more durable and therefore applied once the broken bone has started healing.
How to Keep a Cast Dry
Keep your cast dry is probably the most important thing you can do to keep happy while wearing a cast. Wet casts itch, smell, and are annoying. Keeping a cast dry is possible, even while keeping you clean.
How to Keep Odor Away
Cast smells are usually due to moisture under the cast. It is important to keep moisture away by not letting water get on the cast, and not sweating excessively under the cast.
How to Walk With Crutches
Crutches are often used for the treatment of injured legs. Using crutches requires good upper body strength and flexibility. Using crutches also requires the injury to be isolated to a single leg; patients with an injured arm or two injured legs will usually require another type of support.
How to Have Fun With Your Cast
Maybe having a cast is not your idea of fun, but why not at least have some fun with the hand you’re dealt. You’ve got to have this cast all the time, so you might as well enjoy what you’re looking at.
When to Ask for Help
As a general rule of thumb, if you are unsure, call your doctor. Most cast problems are minor, but there are a few warning signs to be aware of when you have a cast. If you think there is a problem under your cast, you should have this seen by your doctor.
How to financially prepare for unexpected situations you can’t afford.
Nobody wants to think about having a medical emergency such as ending up with a broken arm. As much as we like to avoid these topics, however, they are unfortunate realities that tend to happen at the least convenient times and when we least expect them.
When it comes to broken bones, for instance, did you know that without health insurance, diagnosis and non-surgical treatment for a broken arm typically costs up to $2,500 or more? And even if you do have health insurance, costhelper.com explains, “Costs could include doctor visit copays and coinsurance of up to 30 percent or more for treatment.” Ouch! This sounds painful for the arm and your pocket. Fortunately, we have covered a few ways in which you can stay ahead of the game and prepared for medical expenses.
Here’s how you can be proactive and anticipate the unexpected if you or a family member ends up with a broken arm:
- Know how much your insurance will cover: If you have health insurance, that’s great! But as mentioned above, it is likely that your insurance won’t cover the entirety of your broken arm treatment costs. A good rule of thumb is to always contact your health insurance agent to find out exactly what’s being covered and why. If you have a better idea of how much they will cover, you’ll be able to start figuring out how much you’ll have to pay yourself.
- Know how much you’ll have to pay out of pocket: Once you know how much your insurance will cover, make a list of all the expenses associated with your broken arm. Cost of emergency room visits, X-rays, therapy, medicine and follow-up trips to the doctor’s office could be coming right out of your own pocket, so it’s important to know exactly what the damage is and how long it will take you to pay it.
- Consider taking out a medical loan: Paying off your out-of-pocket expenses after a broken arm can be hard. We get it. That’s why medical loans can be the best solution to avoid hurting your financial situation — and credit score — for an extended period of time.
- So what’s a medical loan? A medical loan is simply a personal loan for medical financing. Nerdwallet.com explains that “Medical loans — which are personal loans applied toward medical expenses — can be used to consolidate existing medical debt, cover emergency or planned medical procedures like root canals or plastic surgery, or pay for high deductibles and out-of-network charges.”
Why you should stay away from using credit cards for medical bills
Personal loans for medical expenses are often a better option than credit cards, as you’ll know exactly how much you owe (refer to step number two) and your final amount won’t keep increasing as you keep swiping your card, which is referred to as revolving credit. Click here to learn more about the difference between loans and other forms of credit.
Additionally, depending on your credit score and financial history, you might be able to receive better terms from the lender, avoiding high-interest rates and unfavorable terms of repayment that will end up hurting your credit score.
Not sure why high credit card usage might be hurting you? Visit this Credit Karma article to find out how your credit score might be suffering due to credit card usage.
Are there alternatives to credit cards for medical expenses I can explore?
Absolutely! To avoid finding yourself in a situation where you have to get in debt to pay off an emergency procedure, you should always be saving. Did you know that, according to this Savings 101 article, saving as little 20% of your income you could save as much as $8,000 a year based on a $40,352 annual income? If you take your budget seriously and stick to it, a medical loan might not even be necessary in case of a broken arm!
The Next Steps
Have you found yourself drowning in medical debt after simple broken arm treatment? Don’t let this ruin your financial situation and credit score!
*Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice.*
LendingPoint is a personal loan provider specializing in NearPrime consumers. Typically, NearPrime consumers are people with credit scores in the 600s. If this is you, we’d love to talk to you about how we might be able to help you meet your financial goals. We offer loans from $2,000 to $25,000, all with fixed payments and simple interest.
Not that I complaining. The only thing the doctor at the urgent care place gave me was a bandage to wrap around it. I have to see the ortho in a few days..just seems kind of odd that a bandage is the only thing protecting my arm. She did say it was small, perhaps that is why?
I broke my arm a few years ago in a car accident. They had to do an operation to put it back together with a titanium strap to hold the bones together. Instead of a cast they made a splint, that I could take off, and I was told to take it off and stretch and twist the arm every day. It was painful to do, at first, but it felt so good to get the damn splint off!
A cast is like a last resort. If it takes six weeks for the arm to heal, you cant use the muscles in that arm that whole time, so they deteriorate. Often the arm doesn’t have to be completely immobilized so it’s MUCH more comfortable and less trouble if that’s not necessary.
My Dr. said I should sleep with the splint on, but it was so clumsy and uncomfortable I took it off. He was afraid I’d roll over on the arm and break it again, but I didn’t.
When the arm was ‘healed’ (that is, to the point where I could dispense with the splint) he tested my range of motion and tested my grip strength with a gage. He showed me how I hadn’t lost any function in the arm, which he said would not have happened if I’d had a cast. It would have taken me a while to get back the strength and range of motion.
prob arm not foot because i cant walk plz reply
- 55 Replies
A broken arm. If I had to sit still all day I would go crazy. I can’t just sit and do nothing for long periods of time. Plus, I have to walk my cat and can’t do that with a broken leg.
Broken arm. As long as it’s my left. Broken legs would be unbearable.
It depends on what I have to do. If the things that I have to do requires me to walk around more, then I would choose to rather have a broken arm. If I had to do things that required me to use my hands more, I would choose to have a broken leg.
As a result of the fracture may be affected muscles, nerves and other soft tissues.
In most cases – especially for children – fractures heal completely, leaving no strain. However, for adults with poor health, violations of blood circulation system broken bones grow together badly. Severe open fracture may lead to high blood loss and life-threatening shock.
I don’t want my arm/leg spend several months in gypsum.
on friday at school someone pushed me and i fell on my arm. when i went to the hospital they told me it was completely shattered from my hand to elbow.
i had an operation on saturday morning to piece it together,pin it and put wire in and put a cast on.
it is extremely painful and i went to school on monday(even though my mum didnt want me to) but it was so painful. so i stayed off yesterday and today. i have been given lots of tablets to take by the hospital, but im stilll in alotof pain.
i go back tto the hospital on friday to get another cast, will it hurt even more then?
how long is a reasonable amount of time off?
also, im going away next friday, the hospitakl and airline have said if i get a letter from the hospital i can fly. but will it be painful durin and after the flight?
If the pain is that sever you need to stay quiet and convulse until much of the pain has quit. Depending on the type cast you have and your ease to move around should dictate if you should even consider taking a flight. Wait until the pain is much less because your flight and trip may not be as much fun.
Give your body a chance to heal and stay home from school for now!
I would think school is out by now. Anyway, my son did the same thing.
He missed a few days. After the cast is put on it will stabilize it so
you most likely will not have as much pain. Later my son had the pins
removed. It was a day surgery and he was not admitted but missed a day
then also. As time passes you’ll feel better.
i are conscious of it rather is old yet I nonetheless prefer to assert that. breaking a bone hurts extra desirable than getting a kick interior the balls, and it lasts for a minimum of a month. the 2d you wreck your bone it is going to break lots you wouldnt have the skill to hold returned kyour tears no count how confusing you attempt. With a sling your broken arm is immobolised and thanks to that something of your arm turns into numb, tingly and intensely very uncomfortable. Even worse once you are able to desire to take off your sling to alter and bathe. i’m typing this with one hand desirable now bcuz final friday i substitute into being stupid and climbed on suitable of three stacked crates and fell and landed on my shoulder. Oh n I forgot to show that a broken arm expenditures you lots of money, you get drowsy throughout the time of the day and you lose your urge for foodstuff. throughout the time of the evening this is confusing to sleep becuz a million. as quickly as you lie down gravity pulls your bone down, hurting you, so which you will desire to benefit to sleep jointly as sitting 2. this is totally popular which you awaken some cases throughout the time of the evening bcuz of the soreness, and this is confusing to pass returned to sleep no count how drained you’re. 3. sometimes you awaken very very early the following day involuntarily.
Hi, Sorry to hear about your break. Why people have to be so mean and push others around is beyond me. Hope you get better.
You can tell your story at a really cool site:
There may be others who had a similar break or issue.