Fractures

Broken bones, known as fractures, usually occur if someone falls or collides with something. If you have fallen, are in pain, and cannot use your arm or put weight on your leg or foot, contact a health centre or an urgent care clinic immediately.
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Leg fractures often occur when a person slips and when the foot that is under the body is twisted. If the person falling uses their hand to help catch themselves, the weight of their body may also cause a bone in their wrist or arm to break.

A fracture can be open or closed. With open fractures, the skin breaks and the bone may protrude. With closed fractures, there is a risk of internal bleeding.

Symptoms of a fracture

  • Pain and swelling
  • Abnormal mobility and position
  • External bleeding in open fractures. In closed fractures, internal bleeding may cause swelling.
  • With a femur fracture, the injured part of the body is shorter than the healthy part, is turned outwards and cannot be moved.

First aid for a fracture

If you have fallen, are in pain, and cannot use your arm or put weight on your leg or foot, contact a health centre or an urgent care clinic immediately. Seek treatment at an emergency department if both of these are closed.

  • Call 112 if the fracture is open and the bone is protruding through the skin.
  • In case of an open fracture, stop the external bleeding.
  • Keep the injured person warm.
  • To relieve the pain, it is a good idea to keep the injured body part still. The person should try not to put weight on the injured leg or use the injured arm.
  • Misalignments should not be corrected under any circumstances.
  • If it is necessary to move the injured person or if it takes a long time for help to arrive, you can use the other foot or hand to support the injured part of the body. It is also possible to use some other temporary tool, such as a board or a cane. In such cases, the support should be distributed on both sides of the fracture over a healthy joint.
  • If the injured person is not awake, but breathing normally, place the person in a stable position on their side to ensure they can breathe easily.
  • If you suspect a fracture of the spine, only move the injured person if it is necessary to save their life.

Do not move the injured person unnecessarily

  • Misalignments should not be corrected under any circumstances.
  • If it is necessary to move the injured person or if it takes a long time for help to arrive, you can use the other foot or hand to support the injured part of the body. It is also possible to use some other temporary tool, such as a board or a cane. In such cases, the support should be distributed on both sides of the fracture over a healthy joint.
  • If the injured person is not awake, but breathing normally, place the person in a stable position on their side to ensure they can breathe easily.
  • If you suspect a fracture of the spine, only move the injured person if it is necessary to save their life.