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Fracture Exercises

Arm Fractures

Overview

A broken arm can occur when any one of the three bones that make up your arm, the radius, ulna and humerus, are broken as a result of trauma. The most common cause of the condition is falling down and trying to break your fall by sticking out your arm. Recovery from a broken arm bone can take anywhere from a few weeks to over a month, depending on the type of break and the specific location of your injury. Following a period of immobilization to help your bone heal, your doctor is likely to prescribe physical therapy to help your arm return to its previous condition.

Strength Training

You may have had to keep your arm in a cast for several weeks following your break, and after your cast is removed you may notice a loss of strength in your limb. Strength training is likely to include exercises designed to help restore muscular strength to your arm. These exercises are likely to include bending and straightening your arm under resistance as well as internal and external rotation to help restore strength to your shoulder joint. Be sure that you perform these exercises exactly as prescribed in order to recover as quickly as possible.

Flexibility Training

Like the strength training exercises listed above, range of motion exercises are probably going to be prescribed to help restore full movement to your arm. The initial exercises are likely to be a bit painful, since your arm has probably been in a cast for several weeks. These exercises will include turning your hand up and down while keeping your elbow stationary, exercises to restore the movement of your elbow joint and even some exercises to restore movement to your shoulder joint.

Occupational Therapy

Depending on your specific job, therapy for a broken arm may include exercises designed to get you ready to return to work. These exercises can include manual manipulation of small parts, lifting exercises that mimic movements made during your work day and exercises that help strengthen specific muscles you use at work.

Sport Specific Therapy

If you’re an athlete, your doctor may prescribe physical therapy to help you speed your return to the playing field. Depending on your sport and your specific injury, these exercises can include throwing motions, catching exercises and exercises designed to help restore your hand-eye coordination. The specific types of exercises depend greatly on your chosen sport and your specific injury, however.

Range-of-Motion Exercises

During the initial phase, when your arm is still immobilized, start gentle range-of-motion exercises with your hand, wrist and fingers. Clench and unclench your fingers regularly. With your doctor's approval, begin to flex your wrist and hand several times a day. Once your cast comes off, your physical therapist will develop a plan to maintain and improve range of motion in your wrist, elbow and shoulder. Exercises for the shoulder will include abduction and adduction, internal and external rotation, and flexion and extension moves. Do these moves several times each day.

Stretching Exercises

Stretching moves are essential to rehabbing a broken arm. Perform triceps stretch, biceps stretch, wrist flexor stretch, wrist extensor stretch, and pronation/supination stretches for the wrist. These will improve the flexibility of the muscles in the forearm and upper arm. Do these stretches once or twice a day.

Hand and finger exercise

Leg Fractures

Some exercises to help the muscles in the leg with a cast on:

Overview:

If you have injured your ankle, resulting in a severe sprain or fracture, you may need to wear a cast to keep it immobilized while it heals. Stanford School of Medicine explains that a cast is made of either plaster or fiberglass, which encompasses the injury during the healing process. In the case of an ankle injury, a cast may be worn anywhere between four to six weeks. During this time, joints can become stiff. If you are wearing an ankle cast, ask your physician if it is OK to exercise to prevent painful stiffness.

Toe Exercises

Wiggle your toes whenever you think of it. Wiggling your toes will help keep the blood flowing and help to prevent the joints in your toes, foot and ankle from becoming painfully stiff. Simple toe exercises, such as curling your toes, can also be beneficial. Place the bottom of your cast and heel flat on the floor. Curl your toes under, hold for five seconds and release. Stretch your toes out, hold for five seconds and release. Repeat the process ten times daily.

Isometric Exercises

Perform isometric exercises by moving your foot within the cast. The University of Buffalo explains that isometric exercise, also known as static exercise, works the muscles using non-moving resistance. To perform isometric ankle exercises in a cast, sit in an upright chair with the foot of your bad ankle resting flat on the floor. Press your foot into the floor and hold for five seconds. Release the pressure and repeat. Perform this exercise 10 times daily.

Leg Lifts

Perform leg lifts to strengthen the muscles in your ankle and your leg while wearing a cast. Leg lifts will also improve circulation while stretching out your toe and ankle joints, keeping them flexible. Simply lie on the floor, keeping your leg and knee straight. Raise your leg several inches above the floor and hold for five seconds. Bring your leg back down to the floor and repeat the exercise 10 times daily.

Video:

Broken ankle exercises

Developed by: Mr Andrew Ravenscroft