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Crush Injury

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

A crush injury happens when part of your body is trapped under a heavy object, or trapped between objects. You may have one or more broken bones. You may also have tissue damage. The damage can cause pain, numbness, and weakness. A crush injury can cause serious problems that need immediate treatment.



You may need any of the following:

Call 911 for any of the following:

Return to the emergency department if:

Contact your healthcare provider if:

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need more x-rays, or a cast for a broken bone. You may also need treatment for muscle, nerve, or kidney damage. Your healthcare provider may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon or other specialist. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Apply ice:

Ice helps decrease pain and swelling. Ice may also help decrease tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel. Apply it to the injured area for 20 minutes every hour, or as directed. Ask your healthcare provider how many times each day to apply ice, and for how many days.

Elevate the injured area as directed:

If possible, raise the area as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop it on pillows to keep it elevated comfortably.

Do not smoke:

Smoking can cause tissue damage and delay healing. Ask your healthcare provider for more information if you currently smoke and need help quitting.

Go to therapy as directed:

A physical therapist can teach you exercises to help improve movement and strength. Physical therapy can also help decrease pain and loss of function. An occupational therapist can help you find ways to do daily activities and care for yourself.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.