Lower arm - broken in a cast

We have examined you and have ascertained that you have broken your lower arm. Your arm has to been placed in a cast.

About your visit

We have examined you and have ascertained that you have broken your lower arm. Your arm has been placed in a cast. You may also have been given a sling to keep your arm immobile while it heals. Your hand should be elevated above your elbow when wearing the sling. You must wear the sling the first 24 hours.

The cast will be on for ___ weeks.

The cast will be removed by your general practitioner or at the hospital. You will be told which applies to you.

When you get home

Contact your general practitioner if your condition deteriorates

Call your general practitioner or dial 1813 to reach the medical helpline outside your general practitioner’s opening hours if your hand:

  • begins to feel prickly/tingly or falls asleep
  • becomes numb
  • loses colour
  • becomes hard to move.

These symptoms may be a sign of damaged blood vessels and nerves.

Take pain-relieving medicine if you are in pain

You should take pain-relieving medicine if you are in pain. Pain-relieving medicine can be bought over the counter. Take only the amount of pain reliever recommended on the package. Contact your general practitioner if you need help managing the pain.

Dial 1813 for the medical helpline if there are problems with your cast

Dial 1813 if the cast:

  • begins to pinch
  • feels too tight
  • becomes loose
  • breaks.

The 1813 operator will guide you to the appropriate care. Do not remove the cast yourself.

You may bleed under the skin

You may develop bruises or blood spots under your skin that extend to your fingers. These symptoms will go away on their own.

Avoid inserting objects to relieve itching

Do not insert objects, such as a knitting needle, into the cast to relieve itching. You risk damaging the skin and causing sores.

Keep the cast dry

Place a plastic bag over your cast when you are washing or when it is raining to avoid getting it wet.

Do not wear jewellery

Avoid wearing rings on the hand of the arm in a cast as your fingers may swell.

Prevent swelling

To keep your hand from swelling, keep it level with your heart. Rest your arm on a pillow, for example, when you are sitting down.

Use your arm while it is in a cast

Move your arm and fingers as much as possible every day, even while wearing a cast. This will help you maintain mobility and avoid swelling. Use your arm as you normally would when dressing, cleaning and eating. Do not lift heavy objects, for example grocery bags, for one to two months.

Check-ups

We will determine whether you need to come to the hospital for a check-up or whether you should visit your general practitioner. If you need to visit the hospital for a check-up, we will notify you via digital or physical post, or we will call you with information regarding time and place. If you need to visit your general practitioner, you will have to contact the clinic yourself and schedule an appointment.

If your condition deteriorates before your check-up, do not wait, contact your general practitioner. If your condition deteriorates acutely, dial 1813 to reach the medical helpline.

Exercises

Begin rehabilitation immediately

Start doing the exercises while you are wearing the cast. These exercises will help you regain mobility faster. We will guide you through the exercises.

Complete the exercises four to five times a day and repeat each exercise at least 15 times. Relax your shoulders and keep an easy pace.
If you begin to feel pain while doing the exercises, take a 30-minute break and then continue doing the exercises. Remove your sling when you are doing the exercises.

Exercise 1

  • Stretch your fingers.
  • Slowly make a fist by first bending the joints closest to the fingertip, then the middle joints and finally the joints at the base of your fingers.
  • Release the fist and stretch out your fingers.

Exercise 2

  • Make a fist. You can hold a small ball, if needed.
  • Stretch and spread your fingers.

Exercise 3

  • Keep your fingers together and then spread them as far as possible.

Exercise 4

  • Touch your thumb to the base of your little finger. Arch your thumb away from your palm as far as is possible.
  • Return your thumb its original position.

Exercise 5

  • Spread your fingers as far as possible.
  • Touch your thumb to the tip of each of your other fingers by turn. Make a large “O” with each touch. Stretch your fingers between each “O”.

Exercise 6

Stand up.

  • Swing your arms in circular motions.

Exercise 7

  • Lift both shoulders towards your ears and hold the position for five seconds.
  • Lower your shoulders and relax.

Exercise 8

Straighten your back, lower your shoulders and keep your arms by your side.

  • Push your chest forward and pull your shoulders back.
  • Let your chest and shoulders relax.    

Exercise 9

Stand up.

  • Arch your back forwards while placing your arms in front of you.
  • Straighten your back and place the back of your hands on your lower back.

Exercise 10

  • Raise one or both arms as high as you can. Your elbows should be elevated above your heart. If you only raise one arm, you can support it with the opposite hand.
  • Make a fist. Stretch and spread your fingers.

You can see a video of the exercises on https://regionh.dk/bqb or hold your smartphone camera over this QR code:

Worth knowing

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