Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School



If you have fractured the shaft of your humerus, your symptoms may include:

  • Pain, swelling, tenderness and bruising in your upper arm

  • Limited motion in your upper arm and shoulder

  • Deformity of your injured arm

  • Shortening of the arm compared to your uninjured arm (if pieces of fractured bone are separated far apart)

  • Parts of fractured bone visible through broken skin (an open fracture)

If you have fractured one or both of the bones of your forearm, your symptoms will vary depending on the severity of your fracture. Symptoms may include:

  • Pain, swelling, tenderness, and limited motion near the area of broken bone.

    • Bruising

    • Deformity of the forearm

    • Loss of normal arm motion

    • Numbness in the wrist or hand

    • Parts of the fractured bone (or bones) may be visible through broken skin (an open fracture).

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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