Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Will a broken bone heal itself or should I see a doctor?"
I think I might have broken a bone in my forearm. I fell on top of it and it is pretty sore. Everything is working correctly though, so I think I can just let it heal on its own. Will my arm heal on its own if there is a small break in the bone?
It sounds like you have been through a lot lately! A bad fall can definitely lead to a broken bone in the arm, particularly if you landed with an outstretched hand. With any kind of accident with concern for a possible fracture, it is very important that you be evaluated right away by a physician. Fractures are something that should be evaluated immediately, most often in the emergency room, to make sure that appropriate splinting, casting, activity restrictions, or even surgery are implement correctly. Just because you can move a limb after a fall doesn't mean that the alignment of the bones (or bone fragments) is correct. A fracture that is not set properly runs the risk of many adverse complications, including healing improperly (which can require re-breaking the bone to set it properly) with future range of motion problems, soft tissue injury, increased risk of arthritis later in life, or even nerve damage. You may well have the kind of fracture that can be cast for a period of weeks without surgery, but you won't know that until after having x-rays and an evaluation by an orthopedic surgeon. The forearm and wrist are quite complicated with many different bones, and in order for you to have full use of your arm and hand in future, it is important for a potential fracture to be evaluated by the appropriate specialists.
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