How to treat a broken forearm – Resi Stiegler

how-to-treat-a-broken-forearm-resi-stiegler-photoI don’t ski. I’ve never skied, which is why I haven’t discussed any skiing injuries. What I do know is that you see knee injuries in skiing more than any other injury, well, outside of frostbite. The injury today is a broken forearm and the winner is Resi Stiegler. (Warning the website has music.) I should say loser, as she is the giant slalom champion for the United States. She suffered injuries in a crash at the World Cup giant slalom race today.

Resi ended up with the following list of injuries:

  • Broken forearm
  • Torn knee ligaments
  • Bruised face
  • Bruised hip
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What is interesting about this is that she didn’t hit the tree in the photo to cause the forearm break. I guess the breakaway barrier did the job by accepting and redirecting the force of the crash.

What is a broken forearm? Your forearm is the area of your arm between your elbow and your wrist. It’s made of two bones, the ulna and radius, and features a couple of important arteries with the same name. Silly. All arteries are important. A broken forearm occurs when you break one or two of these bones.

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What causes a broken forearm? Blunt trauma. Even though the ulna and radius are thinner than other bones, they are still pretty strong. You’re not going to break it pushing up off the ground, but you will break it if something hard slams against it. In this case it was more than likely the ground or breakaway barrier.

What are the symptoms of a broken forearm? Pain is going to be the most common symptom, as with any broken bone. In the case of a broken forearm you’ll experience swelling and you will see the broken bones. The forearm will be misshaped as well. Where you usually see a smooth run down your arm you’ll see bumps or even under skin protrusions.

How do you diagnose a broken forearm? The doctor will order an x-ray and that should do the trick.

How do you treat a broken forearm? It depends. I hate that answer, too. If you’ve broken one of the bones, and it’s a clean break, a regular set and cast should do the job. If you’ve broken both bones you’re going to need surgery. During the surgery the bones will be set with plates and/or screws used to ensure the setting takes. If you don’t like being part cyborg don’t worry. Once the healing is complete, 12-24 months, you can opt to have the plates and/or screws removed.

How long does it take to heal a broken foream? If it’s a single break you can assume a normal amount of time for a bone to heal. Possibly 1-2 months in a cast. If it’s a double break it’ll be twice the amount of time, but it really depends on the severity of the injury. Sometimes a double forearm break can cause nerve or, remember the arteries, arterial damage. This will lead to a longer period of rehab.



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