Most people know right away if they break their arm, because there's often a loud snap or cracking sound.

The signs and symptoms of a broken arm include:

  • Severe pain, which may increase with movement
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising
  • Obvious deformity, such as a bent arm or wrist
  • Stiffness or inability to move your arm, wrist or elbow
  • Inability to turn your arm from palm up to palm down or vice versa

When to see a doctor

If you have enough pain in your arm that you can't use it normally, see a doctor right away. And do the same for your child. Delays in diagnosis and treatment of a broken arm can lead to poor healing.

Aug. 19, 2011