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A 28-year-old female asked:

I am wearing a cast for complete breaks of ulna\radius. is it possible to displace the alignment of the bones while wearing a cast?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeffrey Wint
Hand Surgery 37 years experience
A fracture can move : Or shift due to the pattern of the fracture ( some are inherently unstable) the quality of the bone, the energy of the injury ( higher energy injury that was more intially displaced) the amount of initial reduction and other variables . This is why a fracture needs to be followed once it is casted, repeat x-rays, cast changes are all a part of this. Fracture care is mor than just the first cast.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Milan Sen
Orthopedic Surgery 25 years experience
Yes, absolutely : A cast provides some protection and stability to a reduced fracture, but the bones can still displace - especially in the first 2-3 weeks. Plates and screws are better at stabilizing the fracture. Things that you can do: follow your doctor's restrictions regarding use of the arm (no lifting, etc), follow up regularly for x-ray, keep the cast clean and dry, change your cast if it become loose.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Jan 14, 2014

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