Arm Fracture (Supracondylar Fracture) in Singapore
Suffered a fall on an outstretched elbow recently? You may have a supracondylar fracture, also known as an arm fracture. It is an injury to the humerus, which is at the narrowest point of your upper arm bone, just above the elbow.
A forearm fracture is common among children ages 5 to 7. It is usually caused by a direct blow to the elbow or a high-impact fall on an outstretched elbow, such as falling from the monkey bar. In fact, these fractures rarely occur in adults.
To understand this fracture, you need to know what it is, the signs and symptoms of supracondylar fracture, the risk factors, and the recommended forearm fracture treatment in Singapore.
What is a Supracondylar Fracture?
Supracondylar fracture is an injury to just above the elbow, usually from a fall on an outstretched hand or a direct blow to the elbow.
Surgery isn’t always required. Sometimes a hard cast may be enough to promote healing. However, like any other fracture, some complications may involve the nerves and blood vessels. In this case, you may require a broken arm surgery in Singapore.
What Causes Supracondylar Fracture?
Bone fractures can occur for various reasons, and there are three common scenarios in which a supracondylar fracture occurs.
- You injure your elbow against something
Sometimes you might bump into something hard and instinctively use your elbow to protect your body. In such cases, you might end up injuring your elbow. It can also be due to a fall, causing you to land on your elbow.
- Something hits your elbow
Any object with enough force can unknowingly fracture your elbow when it hits. This can be due to a car accident or the impact of a football during a game.
- Strong impact on your extended arm
When your arm is fully extended, the muscles and tendons are flexed and tight. Landing on your arm while extended increases your risk of a supracondylar fracture.
Symptoms & Signs of Supracondylar Fracture
The symptoms and signs of a supracondylar fracture vary based on the type. But they may include:
- Severe pain in the elbow, forearm, or both
- Swelling in the elbow
- Numbness in your hand
- Loss of elbow function
- Loss of colour and warmth in your fingers or hand
- Noticeable deformity around the elbow or arm
If you experience any of these symptoms or signs, it is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Risk Factors for Supracondylar Fracture
Several risk factors can lead to supracondylar fracture. Some of the factors include:
- Age – A forearm fracture is more likely to occur in children under seven years old, as they are more prone to injuring themselves during an outdoor activity.
- Bone density – Children with lower bone density have an increased risk of supracondylar fracture because their bones are thinner and more brittle.
- Body weight – Children who weigh less than their average weight have a higher risk of fracture because they cannot bear the impact.
Recommended Treatment for Supracondylar Fracture
A supracondylar fracture treatment in Singapore will vary based on the severity of the injury and type of fracture. For a mild fracture, the patient may have a cast or splint to immobilise the joint and allow the natural healing process to begin. In some cases, the doctor may reset the bones into place before applying the splint or cast.
Meanwhile, a severe forearm fracture may require either of these surgeries:
- Closed reduction with percutaneous pinning – Bone resetting is necessary, after which the doctor will insert pins through the skin to re-join the fractured parts of the bone. A splint is then applied and later replaced with a cast.
- Open reduction with internal fixation – If the fracture affects the positioning of your bones or there is damage to the nerves or blood vessels; this surgery may be necessary.
During recovery, you will likely need to wear the splint or cast for several weeks to facilitate the bone’s healing process. Avoid wearing tight shirts; instead, opt for a loose-fitting shirt and let the sleeve on the cast side hang free. Alternatively, you can cut the sleeve on old shirts to accommodate the cast or splint.
Be sure to fulfil your follow-up visits to the doctor to ensure that the damaged bone is healing properly. Your doctor may suggest targeted exercises to improve the elbow’s range of motion.
Get Treated For Your Supracondylar Fracture
At Spire Orthopaedic Centre, everyone should be cared for and healed holistically in comfort without travelling to different locations to seek medical and surgical help and rehabilitation support.
With a combined facility for collaboration between physicians, physiotherapists, and surgeons, you will experience a seamless service from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation tailored just for you at our clinic.