How Long Does It Take For A Broken Arm To Heal?

Have you ever had any broken bones? I did break my arm this year, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, in my case injury was simple, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find much information about how long it take for a broken arm to heal, but in this article, I’ll let you know everything I’ve found during that period.

Let’s answer the question from the title “how long does it take for a broken arm to heal”. The general range is 6 to 12 weeks if your arm wasn’t severely damaged. But you should avoid straining this arm for at least 12 weeks. During this time you should be restricted from some movements and especially physical work.

Remember that every case is different, and those numbers above are the general average. We’ve based most of our knowledge on studies that have been published at mayo.edu, mostly on comparisons between different fracture types. We’ll let you know how long will it be in your case, down below in this article so stick with us!

how long does it take for a broken arm to heal

What time exactly is needed for your condition

There are many types of “broken arm” but fractures are classified into the following categories:

  • Greenstick fracture – A crack or break on one side of a long bone in the arm or leg that does not extend all the way through the bone. That one is common among children and is the least dangerous category of a fracture.
  • Open fracture – The broken bone pierces the skin in one or two places, a serious condition that requires immediate, aggressive treatment to decrease the risk of infection. The bone will be set as it was before the fracture, which can be very painful.
  • Buckle fracture – One side of the bone is compressed, which causes the other side to bend. Children are more likely to have this type of fracture.
  • Comminuted fracture The bone is broken into small pieces, so it might require surgery, to remove or piece together the bone fragments.
  • Closed fracture – The skin remains unbroken, but the bone is separated, which can also require surgery.
  • Displaced fracture – The bone fragments on each side of the break aren’t aligned with each other. Surgery can be required to realign the separated fragments.

Your condition should be one of the above categories, now we can order them by the time of healing required. Everyone’s body is totally different, and that time will depend also on age, gender, previous injuries, and even style of life, but to simplify it, let’s say every condition is exactly the same so… 

The least dangerous and time-consuming to heal would be the ones with the lowest number of separations required to connect. So in that way, “Greenstick fracture” should be the fastest to heal because the separation area is less than the full width of that bone, next the second place should be: “Displaced fracture”, “Closed fracture”, “Open fracture” because in those categories the bone condition is almost the same, after surgery (if was needed) that should happen in the first few hours, the bone condition should be the same, single separation.

As the longest to heal will be the “Buckle fracture” and “Comminuted fracture” they both are rare, and the cause of them can be brutal. It can be hard to assume the time needed to heal those cases, but you can expect to be on the end of that 6 to 12 weeks range, even more than that.

Can I shorten that time of healing?

There is a way for that but before we get to that stuff, let’s talk about the usual instructions to ensure the best and fastest results. Without those instructions, you can lengthen that process by a few weeks.

  • Take medication to reduce pain and soreness.
  • Keep your surgical place clean and dry.
  • Resting your broken arm.
  • Having a regular doctor appointment to monitor the healing process.
broken arm

If we have basic instructions behind us, let’s get to remedies that can speed up the repair process.

  • Mineral supplements – Bone is mostly composed of minerals, including zinc magnesium silicon, and phosphorus. People may find that their bone fractures repair faster if they increase their intake of these minerals (don’t overdose on it). These supplements may boost the production of bone protein, accelerate callus formation, and speed up the bone healing process.
  • Exercise – You should consult with a doctor before using exercise as a way to accelerate bone healing, as it will only be appropriate at certain stages of the healing process, mostly in the second half of that process. However, if performed under a doctor’s supervision, exercise can improve blood flow to the injured site, help to restore muscle around it, and accelerate bone fracture healing. This can be the most dangerous option of all here described.
  • No smoking – That has been proven many times that smoke may delay bone healing. It can also help you to break that unhealthy habit. If you can’t end this, try to reduce it to minimum
  • Protein supplements – The bone is composed mostly of protein, taking protein supplements can stimulate the bone to restore and heal itself.
  • Vitamin supplements – Vitamins are crucial for bone rebuilding as they support the cellular processes and reactions that occur in bone. Vitamins D, K, and C play vital roles in the bone crack healing process. Vitamin B is also crucial for energy production. You can think about little changes in your daily diet.
  • Antioxidants – Antioxidants remove loose radicals that were created by tissue damage. Bone fractures cause tissue damage, and taking antioxidant supplements may help with bone fracture repair. You can find antioxidants in supplements that contain vitamins C and E, alpha-lipoic acid, and lycopene.

In summary, how long does it take for a broken arm to heal?

For most of us, it should take 6 to 12 weeks if you follow your doctor’s advice. Remember to consult methods from the above with your doctor, because they can be possible only after some time has passed from your injury. We hope that whenever someone will ask you “how long does it take for a broken arm to heal” you will know the right answer.

Stacy Reed
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