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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Orthopedics and Injuries > Broken Arm

Broken Arm Cost


How Much Does a Broken Arm Cost?

 
low costWith Insurance: Copays & Coinsurance up to Out of Pocket Maximumaverage costNon-surgical Treatment: up to $2,500+high costSurgical Treatment: $16,000+
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  Typical costs:
  • Without health insurance, diagnosis and non-surgical treatment for a broken arm typically costs up to $2,500 or more. For example, a forearm X-ray costs an average of $190, according to NewChoiceHealth.com[1] , but some radiology centers charge $1,000 or more. And application of an arm splint costs $201 to $239, or application of a forearm or upper arm cast costs $228 to $242 not including the doctor fee at Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[2] in Lincoln, Nebraska. A typical doctor fee for non-surgical treatment of a fracture would include $90 to $200 for the office visit and from $250 to $950 for treatment, according to Carolina Orthopaedic Surgery Associates[3] . According to the Minnesota Council of Health Plans, non-surgical treatment for a broken arm typically costs about $2,523.
  • Without health insurance, surgical treatment of a broken arm typically costs $16,000 or more. For example, surgical treatment of a fracture of the humerus (upper arm bone) costs about $14,911, not including the surgeon fee, at Baptist Memorial Health Care in Memphis, Tennessee. A typical surgeon fee for surgical treatment of a fracture could reach $2,000 or more, according to Carolina Orthopaedic Surgery Associates[4] .
  • A broken arm typically would be covered by health insurance. With health insurance, costs could include doctor visit copays and coinsurance of 30 percent or more for treatment, which could total thousands of dollars or the yearly out-of-pocket maximum.
Related articles: Broken Leg, Sprained or Broken Wrist, Broken Clavicle, Elbow Replacement, Elbow Treatment or Surgery

What should be included:
  • For a simple break confirmed by an X-ray, the doctor would properly position the broken bones (called a "reduction") if necessary, then place a cast on the arm to allow it to heal properly.
  • For a more complicated break, the doctor would make an incision and implant wires, screws or other hardware to hold the bones in place during healing.
  • The Mayo Clinic[5] has a primer on broken arms.
Additional costs:
  • Going to an emergency room for initial treatment could add $1,000 to $2,000 or more to the final bill; costs would include an emergency room visit fee, an emergency room doctor fee and the cost of a temporary cast such as an air cast; the patient would then need to seek treatment from a specialist.
  • For patients who have a broken bone treated surgically, metal hardware usually can be left in, unless it causes irritation in the future; if removal is required, it can cost between about $2,533 and $11,710 or more, according to Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center[6] in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Discounts:
  • Some orthopedic specialists offer discounts for uninsured/cash paying patients. For example, Southern California Orthopedic Institute offers discounted services for cash-paying patients, and Northwest Community Hospital Orthopedic Services Center[7] , in Chicago, offers discounts for prompt payment.
  • Some free clinics, such as Community Health Free Clinic[8] in Chicago, offer orthopedic specialty care. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services[9] offers a directory of federally funded health centers; if the nearest clinic doesn't offer orthopedic care, ask for a referral.
Shopping for a broken arm:
  • A general practitioner can refer the patient to a specialist. Or, the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery[10] posts an orthopedic surgeon finder by city, state or zip code. Or, seek treatment from a doctor who specializes in sports medicine, which could be either a family physician or an orthopedic surgeon; the American Osteopathic Academy of Sports Medicine[11] provides a doctor finder.
  • If surgery is required, risks include: reaction to anesthesia, infection, blood clots, reaction to hardware and even death.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Child Broken Forearm
Amount: $9,872.90
Posted by: brokenbone in Dubuque, IA.Posted: August 13th, 2014 06:08AM
Type of Injury: Broken ForearmType of Treatment: set bone, xrays, cast
Medical Facility: Unity PointInsurance Carrier: UHC
child fractured both bones of the left forearm. Emergency room visit, anesthesia in OR, set bone, cast and recovery in hospital room, and, to date, one post incident follow-up with orthopedics. No surgery required, the total billed charges to UHC so far are $9872. Post insurance negotiated rates and limited copay after deductible reached, my estimated out of pocket will $2,419. total time at hospital on the day of the incident, 4 hours.
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outragous charges
Amount: $4,700.00
Posted by: Biford in Kingsport, TN.Posted: November 1st, 2013 10:11AM
Type of Injury: broken arm above wristType of Treatment: ER, orthopedic Dr
Medical Facility: Indian PathMed Ctr?AOK OrthopedicsInsurance Carrier: none
My 62 yr old husband fractured both bones above his wrist. $2,100 for ER, for xrays, and a temp cast. Another $464 for ER doctor and $63 for someone to read xrays. Had to see orthopedic dr next day to have it set and another set of xrays and temp cast for $2250! Doctor's charges alone were $1906 for him to spend, maybe a grand total of 45 minutes with him. 2 weeks later, surgery was recommended, which my husband declined. Can't imagine what the cost of that would have been. Its no wonder insurance cost are so high, when doctors etc are charging these kinds of prices!
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Broken Forearm - Buckle Fracture
Amount: $424.00
Posted by: mat in Livermore, CA.Posted: October 5th, 2013 01:10PM
Type of Injury: Broken Arm - Buckle fractureType of Treatment: Cast
Medical Facility: Webster Orthopedic Clinic NorCal ImagingInsurance Carrier: No
Buckle fracture. No insurance.
Doctor visit $80 -> x-ray with result in NorCal Imaging $60. Orthopedic analysis and cast in Webster Orthopedics $284
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Arm Cast for child
Amount: $1,200.00
Posted by: Kristen R in Cincinnati, OH.Posted: September 14th, 2013 05:09PM
Type of Injury: small fracture in radius near elbowType of Treatment:
Medical Facility: Cincinnati Children's Medical CenterInsurance Carrier: Anthem
Our 4 year old got a very small fracture in her radius near her elbow from playing in a bouncy house at a birthday party. We spent most of our time either in the lobby waiting room or in the room waiting for the doctor to come in. We had xrays done at an urgent care right after it happened (was billed $160 for that), so Cincinnati Childrens didn't even do the initial xray, just read it to confirm the fracture. Our daughter is in a cast for 3 weeks. We got 2 bills so far from Cincinnati Childrens. One for $850, which says it's billed as a "surgery" and is the doctors fees,etc. And another bill for $314, for hospital fees (waiting around for over an hour sure is costly). She gets her cast taken off this week, and I'm sure we'll get another lovely giant bill for them to remove it, and take follow up xrays, and of course, more waiting. And this is WITH insurance. A bit ridiculous. How can anyone afford medical care these days even with insurance??!!
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Unbelieveable
Amount: $19,412.00
Posted by: An in Jourdanton, TX.Posted: April 18th, 2013 03:04PM
Type of Injury: arm brokenType of Treatment: bone reuduction
Medical Facility: South Texas Regional Medical CenterInsurance Carrier: Self pay, live in México
I stil cant¨nt believe this amount. Additional, we have to pay to the emergency Doctor, the Orthopedician, the anestesian and the x rays. My little 5 years old son, broke his arm in our way to Mexico, the nearest hospital was that. Additional, they do not want to translate the lines on the bill, because we do not understand every line. If somebody could help us. Thank you and sorry about my english writting.
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Pathetic medical system
Amount: $1,343.99
Posted by: MRJ in West Plains, MO.Posted: April 13th, 2013 03:04AM
Type of Injury: buckle fractureType of Treatment: cast and brace
Medical Facility: Ozarks Medical CenterInsurance Carrier: self-pay
My son had a simple buckle fracture. Urgent care-$290 (not itemized) for diagnoses and x-ray. One week later, orthopedic care facility. $200 dollars for "all doctor's expenses. Treatment-arm was put in a cast. Three weeks later, cast removed, new x-rays, my son was given an arm brace to wear. Cost (not itemized)$869.99. Apparently, one plaster cast, one arm brace, and one x-ray cost 869.99 in this country. I just moved back here from living in Japan for 25 years. My son broke his arm twice there. The treatments there were the same as here. Each time we paid $60 dollars for everything. Our insurance company paid the other 80%. Real cost-$200. The U.S. medical system is pathetic.
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Arm Cast
Amount: $1,008.00
Posted by: Catherine C in Ogden, UT.Posted: January 10th, 2013 04:01PM
Type of Injury: green stick fracture just above wristType of Treatment: x-rays and cast
Medical Facility: Ogden ClinicInsurance Carrier: Blue Cross Blue Shield
Total cost before insurance adjustments was 1008.00 After insurance I paid a total of 648.00 The biggest part of the expense was wrapping her arm in a cast. That just seems like a huge cost for what seemed to be a simple procedure. I thought the biggest cost would come from charges for the x-rays. But those seemed somewhat reasonable. It just seems like a large amount for such a short time spent with the doctor.
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Long Arm Cast
Amount: $981.00
Posted by: Chris C in Greenwood, IN.Posted: November 9th, 2012 05:11AM
Type of Injury: buckle fracture in 1 year oldType of Treatment:
Medical Facility: Ortho IndyInsurance Carrier: Cigna
Our 1 year old had a buckle fracture in her arm, near her wrist. After going to her pediatrician and confirming with x-rays, we went to Ortho Indy for the treatment. Doctor saw us for about 5 minutes then a tech put the cast on. The total cost, before discounts, copay, our portion is $981. Looking at some medical cost websites this seems very high. There is a line item for surgery for $767, a line item for physician for $200 and supplies for $14.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.newchoicehealth.com/Directory/Procedure/98/Forearm%20X-Ray
  2.  tp.chi.acelogicus.net/nese/Default.aspx
  3.  www.c-osa.com/charges.htm
  4.  www.c-osa.com/charges.htm
  5.  www.mayoclinic.com/health/broken-arm/DS01001
  6.  tp.chi.acelogicus.net/nese/Default.aspx
  7.  www.nch.org/medical-services/orthopedic-services/index.php
  8.  www.communityhfc.org/referals.htm
  9.  findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search_HCC.aspx
  10.  www.abos.org/find-a-certified-orthopaedic-surgeon.aspx
  11.  www.aoasm.org/find-a-do/
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