There may be some swelling of the hand and/or fingers for two to five days after the fracture. Keep the elbow and hand elevated for the first two to three days by lying down on a couch or bed and propping the arm up with pillows; keep elbow and hand above the level of the heart.
Keeping an ice bag on the elbow will also help to reduce the swelling. Ice bags you can use include frozen vegetables such as peas, or corn, commercial ice products such as "blue ice," or heavy plastic bags filled with ice. Cover the bags of ice with a dry thin towel to protect the cast from getting wet. If swelling or pain increases, or fingers become numb, notify the orthopaedic nurse or doctor.
Check your child's fingers often for movement, feeling and circulation during the first couple of days following surgery and/or cast placement. Notify your child's doctor of any decrease in circulation, decrease in the ability to move the fingers, or decreased feeling (numbness) in the fingers.
Encourage your child to move his/her fingers.
Keep the cast dry and clean. Waterproof casts cannot be used for fractures with pins in place.
Your child's doctor will order pain medication for you to give your child at home. Follow the directions on the label carefully. If the pain medicine does not work, call the orthopaedic nurse or doctor.