Self-management

Prevention

Although it's impossible to prevent an accident, these tips might offer some protection against bone breakage.

  • Eat for bone strength. Eat a healthy diet that includes calcium-rich foods, such as milk, yogurt and cheese, and vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium. You can get vitamin D from fatty fish, such as salmon; from fortified foods, such as milk and orange juice; and from sun exposure.
  • Exercise for bone strength. Weight-bearing physical activity and exercises that improve balance and posture can strengthen bones and reduce the chance of a fracture. The more active and fit you are as you age, the less likely you are to fall and break a bone.
  • Prevent falls. To prevent falling, wear sensible shoes. Remove home hazards that can cause you to trip, such as area rugs. Make sure your living space is well lit. Install grab bars in your bathroom and handrails on your stairways, if necessary.
  • Use protective gear. Wear wrist guards for high-risk activities, such as in-line skating, snowboarding, rugby and football.
  • Don't smoke. Smoking can increase your risk of a broken arm by reducing bone mass. It also hampers healing of fractures.
July 28, 2017
References
  1. Adult forearm fractures. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00584. Accessed May 30, 2017.
  2. Beautler A, et al. General principles of definitive fracture management. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 30, 2017.
  3. Beautler A. General principles of fracture management: Bone healing and fracture description. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 30, 2017.
  4. Bone health basics. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00578. Accessed May 30, 2017.
  5. Pountos I, et al. Do nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs affect bone healing? A critical analysis. The Scientific World Journal. 2012;2012:606404. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/tswj/2012/606404/. Accessed May 22, 2017.
  6. Broken arm. American Society for Surgery of the Hand. http://www.assh.org/handcare/hand-arm-injuries/broken-bones. Accessed May 30, 2017.
  7. Mathison DJ, et al. General principles of fracture management: Fracture patterns and description in children. https://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 30, 2017.
  8. Forearm fractures in children. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00039. Accessed May 30, 2017.
  9. Rizzo M (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 9, 2017.