Treatment of a broken bone


  1. Stay Safe! The patient was injured somehow. Don’t get hurt the same way. Follow universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment if you have it.
  2. If the foot or hand at the end of the injured extremity is cold or blue, it isn’t getting enough blood. Call 911 immediately!1
  3. Do NOT straighten the extremity if it is deformed—keep it in the position found.1
  4. Stabilize the extremity. Use padding to keep it immobile. Specific broken bones need specific treatment:
  • broken leg
  • broken arm
  • broken ankle
  • broken foot
  • broken wrist
  1. Put ice on the injury. Never put the ice directly on the skin—put it in a bag first with a layer of cloth between the bag and the skin. After holding ice on the injury for about 20 minutes, take it off for 20 minutes.
  2. Elevate the extremity to reduce swelling.
  3. Anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen will help with pain.
  4. If 911 was not called, seek medical assistance for additional pain relief and further evaluation of the injury. The use of an ambulance is probably not necessary, but ambulances in many areas are capable of providing additional pain relief.

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