Fractures (broken bones) are a rare but serious injury in the sport of arm wrestling. Of the many possible fractures, a spiral fracture of the humerus is the most common. The referees will minimize the frequency of this injury; however, they will still occur. Often there is no obvious deformity and the evidence that a fracture has occurred is the characteristic noise of breaking bone and the pain experienced by the puller. At this point it is important that an organized system of events take place both to reduce chaos and reassure the injured person.
First, a prearranged person should lead the injured person away from the table to a prearranged area. Do not let the person leave the arm wrestling table without assistance. Try to keep bystanders at a minimum, they will contribute to the chaos and further unnerve the injured person.
Secondly, try not to move the injured arm much. The puller will automatically hold it in the most comfortable position. Moving it will cause more pain and, potentially, more damage.
Having said that, if there is someone who feels confident enough to put a sling on the injured arm, do so. Try to secure the arm in the position most comfortable for the injured person, without moving the arm much. Once the arm is secured in the sling, the fracture is immobilized and this will be the single best thing for reducing pain. If putting on the sling is causing significant pain, stop. More pain means more damage.
You may offer the injured person ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain. They could take this with a sip of water but do not offer any other food or drink in case surgery is in their near future.
You may want to reassure the injured person that humeral fractures rarely require surgery in Canada; however, this is not true in all countries and this is not true of all fractures so don't state this like an undisputed fact!
Finally, proceed to the nearest emergency room for definitive management of the injury.
Do a follow up and check on the injured competitor. Call the hospital after the tournament to see if he or she is still there.
Fill out a CAWF Injury Report
1. Guide the puller to a prearranged area.
2. Do not move the arm unnecessarily.
3. You may put on a sling to secure the arm in the most comfortable position for the puller. If this causes significant pain-STOP!!
4. You may offer Advil or Tylenol for pain with a sip of water.
5. Do not offer any other food or drink.
6. Proceed to the nearest emergency room for treatment
7. Fill out a CAWF Injury Report
8. Call the hospital to follow up after the tournament.
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