First Aid/Arm Injury

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Question
Hello,
About ten hours ago, I went into my cousin's bedroom and decided to plop down on her bed (a little jump may have been involved; I was acting silly).  Anyway, her bed is next to a window.  As I was coming down, I hit my arm on the window sill and heard a cracking sound (pretty sure it wasn't the window sill).
When it happened, I felt pain, but also a weird numbness.  In all honestly, I felt a little dazed.  When it finally did start hurting, it was a horrible burning, then my whole arm felt slightly cold.
Over the last ten hours, the pain has slowly gotten worse.  It's not excruciating or unbearable, but there's a huge knot under the skin where I hit it.  I can't even lightly touch it without it burning and sending sharp pains down to my arm.  My whole arm is sore (especially my wrist).  Could I have injured a ligament?  A bone?
I haven't done anything since it happened (first aid wise), but I'm beginning to think I should have at least put some ice on it.
I'm sorry I didn't mention this before, but the bone I hit was the outer one on my right arm, about two inches down from my elbow (sorry, I'm not good at anatomy).
Is it possible that I could have seriously injured myself?
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
- Laura

Answer
Hello Laura,

Sorry to hear about your injury. The way you described the pain, numbness, burning, and cold sensations along your arm it sounds like some nerve involvement (whacking a nerve can give you similar feelings similar to when you hit your "funny bone" which is actually your Ulnar nerve). This may be similar to what is seen in some contact sports as a "burner" (see:  http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00027  )

As for ice, Maybe... when the injury first happens though there is a growing school of thought in sports medicine that says ice isn't always the way to go and the swelling may actually help the injury heal. I would recommend keeping your arm protected from further injury (no pulling, heavy lifting, jarring) for a few days and see you you feel after that. If you still have burning, warm, or shocking feelings or you have problems with strength or full range of motion I would see a doctor about therapy to get back to normal function.

I hope you heal quickly.

Marc

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Marcus LaBarbera

Expertise

I am available to answer most questions related to: first aid, pre- hospital medicine, EMT and Paramedic questions, medical transport, critical care transport, ICU/CCU care, sedation, and medicine in general.

Experience

I have worked as a NYS Paramedic since 1993 for both community based ambulance companies and large commercial agencies. I Have experience as bike team commander, and shift supervisor for a commercial ambulance. As a member of the Disaster team I was deployed to Louisiana for 20 days following hurricane Katrina. I worked along side the county Haz-Mat team as a "Tox-Medic" with advanced training in treating injuries from chemical agents. Besides my experience on the on the ambulance I have worked in a number of hospital based offices including dialysis and a sleep lab.

Education/Credentials
I started my EMS career as a NYS CFR (Certified First Responder)in 1989, an EMT in 1991, a Paramedic since 1993, and a CCU transport paramedic since 2005. I currently hold certification as a: NYS Paramedic, Critical Care Transport Paramedic, ACLS/CPR/PALS certified. Advanced Haz-Mat Life Support certified (AHLS). In the past I have taught CPR and ACLS to my coworkers and the local community.

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