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numbness in my wrist

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i broke my humerus on saturday and had a cast fitted but i had to go back today as there was numbness in my wrist. the cast was changed for one that starts just below my elbow but i have been home for an hour and a half and the wrist and my arm are completely numb, is that ok/normal?

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 18 Doctors Online


Numbness or tingling sensation is not normal. When the applies cast is too tight or there is impaired to and from blood flow to the limb swelling can occur which will compress nerves leading to numbness, tingling and sometimes pain. You have to go to you Orthopedic surgeon and have your cast checked and redone. A dangerous condition called compartment syndrome can occur sometimes where the restriction to blood flow to the muscles of limb due to fracture itself or tight cast. Symptoms can be swelling with severe pain, numbness, unable to move the limb, pins & needles sensation and absent arterial pulses. So any of these symptoms post fracture or in cast should not be ignored and be brought to immediate attention of the surgeon.

Few points of care must be remembered when you have cast applied to your limb.

- Avoid wetting, scratching or tearing the cast

- Keep moving fingers and distal joints outside the cast so that muscle will remain active and blood flow is maintained.

- Keep your limb elevated to your heart level which will minimize chances of swelling.

- Avoid picking or inserting anything inside the cast.

Consult you orthopedic surgeon and do get back to me for any further queries.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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