Forearm Fractures

Editor: Dr. Amy Spencer, PT, DPT, OCS, MTC, CSCS, CKTP - A Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy and Certified Manual Therapist. Owner and Physical Therapist, Specialized Physical Therapy in North Reading, MA.

There are three different bones in your elbow joint that you can fracture.

Types of elbow and forearm fractures:

  • Specialized Physical Therapy Forearm FracturesNondisplaced: A fracture is nondisplaced when the bone cracks or breaks but stays in place.
  • Displaced: A fracture is displaced when the two ends of the broken bone are separated.
  • Comminuted: A fracture is comminuted when the bone cracks or breaks into many pieces.
  • Open fracture: An open fracture occurs when the broken bone breaks through your skin.

Elbow fractures need time to rest. In most cases, the elbow can be put in a cast or sling to allow it time to heal. Surgery may be necessary if the fracture is unstable or displaced. Damage to the brachial artery and the median nerve are the most common complications of an elbow fracture. If the injury has caused damaged to the artery or nerve, you may feel numbness and tingling in your hand or forearm. Once the cast or sling is removed, there will be still pain, weakness, and a decreased range of motion while using your arm. This needs to be treated with physical therapy.

Symptoms of Forearm Fractures:

A fracture will be painful and limit your normal range of motion. There may be a snap or pop at the time of injury and your elbow or forearm may show signs of swelling or bruising.

Causes of Forearm Fractures:

Fractures are typically caused by trauma to your elbow or forearm. Bracing yourself with your arm during a fall, colliding arm-first into a solid object, or twisting your arm beyond its normal range of motion can result in a fracture.

Treatment of Forearm Fractures:

Immobilization is the first step in treating a fracture. Once the fracture has set, you may experience stiffness in your shoulder, elbow, wrist, and fingers. Physical therapy is an essential component in restoring your strength and full range of motion after the elbow fracture has healed. Manual therapy is extremely helpful and will enable you to use your joints and muscles freely without pain. A physical therapist can help improve circulation to the area by massaging your neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and forearm. This manual technique will also help alleviate pain and restore mobility. Heat, ice, ultrasound, and electrical stimulation are other methods for reduce swelling and pain. Work with a trained physical therapist to rebuild strength and normal range of motion in your elbow and forearm.

SPT is just minutes from Andover, Reading, North Andover, and Wilmington MA

Specialized Physical Therapy is conveniently located in North Reading and also proudly serves residents in Andover, Reading, North Andover, Wilmington, Boxford, Burlington, Woburn, Stoneham, and Methuen.  We offer free and spacious parking located within a few steps away from our clinic’s door.


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Specialized Physical Therapy practices a comprehensive approach to total muscle, joint, and spine health. We are the preferred physical therapy clinic in Greater Boston, because we offer an extensive range of physical therapy services designed to restore your physical strength and mobility while reducing your pain. Our physical therapy clinic sets itself apart by:

  • Providing proven techniques for alleviating minor, major, acute, and chronic pain.
  • Specializing in sports medicine, manual therapy, post-surgical care, auto accidents, prenatal and postpartum conditions, orthopedic injuries and overuse injuries.
  • Maintaining a clean, comfortable, private and quiet clinic, making it ideal for private consulting, educating and performing the latest physical therapy techniques.
  • Focusing on your individual needs, not the bottom line, because we are a small, physical therapist-owned and family-oriented clinic.
  • Treating one patient at a time in our private treatment room to make sure that you get the personalized care and attention you need.
  • Completing your treatment from start to finish with only exceptional doctorate trained and fully licensed Massachusetts physical therapists that have excellent skills, breadth of knowledge, and invaluable experience to help you reach your goals and succeed.


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