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hairline fracture of the elbow
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hairline fracture of the elbow

I had a fall which I landed on my left elbow.  Per x-ray of the elbow it is positive for a hairline fracture of my radial bone.  I was treated for pain, immobilization with a sling and ice application for 24-48 hours for 15 minutes every 2 hours.  My orthopedist said I can use the sling for comfort and to start exercising the affected arm.  Is that a good advice? I thought if you have a fracture, one needs to immobilize it?  How long will this hairline fracture heal? My left elbow is still swollen, can I apply warm compress?  What activties that I can and can't do to promote healing?
Thank you for any response.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
You have fractured at the radius, below the elbow so using arm at shoulder joint for circulation and mobility is good. Do not move the forearm at the elbow joint till some days.
Bone is one of the strongest substance and with hairline fracture due to injury, it will get alright with time as there is no problem with alignment or displacement. It will take 1-2 weeks for the granulation tissue to form and complete the healing process in 2 more weeks. In 4 weeks you will be completely fit and the movement at the arm will not give you stiffness. Ice Packing is good for inflammation and you can use some anti inflammatory drugs.
For promotion of healing avoid lifting of weights and any other job with your left hand. Eat balanced diet with more protein for a period of few weeks. Take care!
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for the advice.  My orthopedist advised me to mobilize my left arm by slowly flexing and extending it to prevent stiffness.  I don't have to apply ice anymore and the sling is for comfort only.  Is it okay then not to use it all the time ?  I felt heavy on this arm if I keep it as is without the sling.  For inflammation, I'm taking Celebrex because I am allergic to all NSAIDS as Motrin, Alleve, Naprosyn, etc. although Celebrex is one of them but a Cox2 inhibitor. My doctor didn't prescribe anything but pain medication.  However, do I have to take this for a period of time?
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Ice packs are the best way to decrease the pain and consuming of pain killers depends on your decision. As the pain decreases you also are advised to decrease taking celebrex.

Wearing a support is always good, try to keep the sling for couple of weeks initially.

No other medication is required, eat healthy with additional proteins and some calcium supplements. Take care!
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Avatar_m_tn
I fell 6 weeks ago and my arm hurt in the elbow region and at every movement. No one took me seriously and advised me not to go to the doctor. I finally went after a couple of days and got some x-rays and an appointment. The doctor said I have a small crack in my elbow bone but told me to just use a sling for a week and then start trying to move it. I did but it just hurts a lot and the mobility is severely reduced . Yesterday my doctor put me under anesthesia and bent my elbow and extended it. She told me to really work trying to move it, but it still hurts very much when I try to bend it. I exercised all day today but I am not sure it is getting better or worse. Please tell me whether I should keep exercising or rest for some time.  
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