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The forearm is between the wrist and the elbow, and it has two bones: the radius and ulna. A forearm fracture may result from any fall, participation in contact sports, or motor vehicle accident. Lastly, you may find that the term fracture and break are used interchangeably in the healthcare field as they mean the same thing.
A forearm fracture usually results in immediate pain, bruising, and swelling. You may also notice one arm shorter than the other.
Certain fractures may be treated non-operatively in a cast or a splint. Traditionally, fractures were kept in an above elbow cast for 4 weeks. In contrast, modern techniques now allows for no casting no casting after surgery. Most of these fractures require surgery with a plate(s) and screws, resulting in an early range of motion and minimizing post-operative down time. Overall, operative treatment can eliminate the need for an uncomfortable cast in the South Florida heat. The key to a great outcome is appropriate hand therapy after surgery done by a certified hand therapist. After your surgery, your doctor and certified hand therapist will work as a team to ensure your return back to daily tasks as soon as possible.
If you would like more information on forearm fracture, we invite you to review an educational website endorsed by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.