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Suspected Fracture

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

You may have a fracture (broken bone), but this cannot be confirmed by x-ray.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • Acetaminophen decreases pain. It is available without a doctor's order. Ask how much to take and how often to take it. Follow directions. Acetaminophen can cause liver damage if not taken correctly.
  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. This medicine is available with or without a doctor's order. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions. Do not give these medicines to children under 6 months of age without direction from your child's healthcare provider.
  • Pain medicine helps decrease or take away your pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe to take your medicine.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your primary healthcare provider or orthopedist in 7 to 10 days:

You will need another x-ray or a CT scan. You may need a cast. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Self-care:

  • Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your injured area or splint for 15 minutes every hour or as directed.
  • Elevate your injured area above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your injured area on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.
  • Move your fingers or toes on your injured limb often to help prevent stiffness.
  • Rest often. Avoid activities that cause pain. Ask when you can return to your normal activities, such as work and sports.

Splint care:

A splint helps keep your injured area from moving. This helps support and protect it, and it decreases pain. Use and care for the splint as directed.

  • Keep your splint dry by covering it with 2 layers of plastic while you take a shower or bath.
  • Prevent dirt, sand, or powder from getting inside the splint.
  • Do not use a sharp or pointed object to scratch your skin under the splint.
  • Do not pull out any of the padding from inside the splint.

Walking devices:

You may need to use crutches, a walker, or a cane to help you walk while your leg heals. It is important to use these devices correctly. Ask for more information about how to use these devices correctly.

Contact your primary healthcare provider or orthopedist if:

  • You have pain that does not get better with medicine or splinting.
  • You have numbness or tingling in the injured area.
  • You have increased swelling or your splint feels tight.
  • Your fingers or toes on your injured limb are cool, pale, or bluish.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • You have severe pain in the injured area.
  • You have no feeling in your fingers or toes on your injured limb.
  • You cannot move your fingers or toes on your injured limb.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

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.

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