Upper Extremity Injury Treatment
The treatment for an arm injury depends on the type, location, and severity of the injury.
Treatment for a minor arm injury includes:
- Apply a cold compress:
- Wrap ice in a moist hand towel. Do not apply ice directly to the skin.
- Apply for 20-30 minutes, every 1-2 hours, for the first few days.
- Avoid activities that cause pain
- With some arm injuries you may wish to wear a sling for comfort
- Long term immobilization in a sling can lead to frozen shoulder.
- Elevate the arm:
- Above the heart if possible.
- Shoulder injuries may require more aggressive immobilization.
- Apply an elastic wrap.
- Narcotic pain medication:
- For moderate to severe pain
- For short term use only
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain:
- Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, NeoProfen)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis, Oruvail)
- Naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleve)
- Physical therapy for arm injuries
Treatment for a severe arm injury may include:
- Emergency arm splint
- Arm cast or splint
- Surgery for a broken arm
Severe fractures and dislocations may require surgery, in order to align the bones. Healing usually requires 6 - 8 weeks. Afterwards, physical therapy may be required, in order to restore normal function.
For more information:
Upper Extremity Injury Drugs
Medications used to treat an arm injury may include:
Upper Extremity Injury Questions For Doctor
The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of an arm injury.
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Is surgery an option for me?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- Do I need to stay in the hospital?
- How long will I be in the hospital?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
- Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
- Should I take my medication with food?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Do I need to change my diet?
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- When can I resume my normal activities?
- When can I return to work?
- Do I need a special exercise program?
- Will I need physical therapy?
- Will I need occupational therapy?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for having this injury again?
- How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
- What local support and other resources are available?
Upper Extremity Injury Specialist
Continue to Upper Extremity Injury Home Care
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