When you break your arm and have to go to the ER, you aren't necessarily going to leave the hospital with a cast on your arm. They may only give you a splint at that time and tell you to schedule with an orthopedic surgeon in order to get your arm taken care of. There are several reasons why the hospital will send you home with a splint instead of a cast.
One reason that the hospital might send you home with a splint instead of a cast is that your arm is going to have some swelling in it from the break. All that swelling could cause your cast to fit incorrectly, which could cause your arm to heal badly or for it to take longer to heal. It could also cause your cast to rub on your arm, causing chafing or sores underneath the cast, which can be a problem on their own. So, the hospital will wrap it up in a splint for a couple of days and let the swelling go down because then the orthopedic surgeon you see will be able to treat your arm better.
Your arm may need to have further treatment or the doctor you see in the emergency room may think that it does. They will wrap your arm up in a splint to keep it stabilized and then have you schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible. That will give the surgeon time to evaluate your x-rays before they see you. They can make their best judgment on the x-rays and then evaluate your arm in person. That will let them make the best treatment plan for you. If it is very obvious that your arm is going to need more treatment, such as a fracture where part of the bone is sticking out through the skin or one that is very serious and has multiple breaks in your arm, it is much more likely that the emergency room doctor will admit you to the hospital so that you can get that treatment as soon as possible, because those kinds of fractures come with their own risks.
If you have broken your arm, you are going to get a cast on it so that it will be supported and stabilized during the healing process. You may not get one immediately, only getting it after you see an orthopedic surgeon, for many different reasons.
For more information, contact local professionals like those found at El Camino Center for Sports Medicine.Share