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Limb injury symptoms

Signs of limb injury can vary, depending on the type of injury.

The most common signs and symptoms include:

  • broken bones and dislocations – severe pain, restricted or no movement in the affected limb, change of shape of the limb, discolouration, tenderness, swelling
  • sprains – swelling, pain, bruising to the area, loss of mobility
  • strains – sharp, sudden pain in the affected area, loss of power
  • nail injuries – bleeding and/or discolouration of nail, nail partly or completely falling off
  • bruises – pain and discolouration of the skin.

If you have a limb injury, you may also have damaged nerves or blood vessels in the area. Signs of nerve damage include pins and needles, numbness, and loss of movement. Signs of damage to blood vessels include coldness and paleness.

In some cases, signs of limb injury may indicate that there is something else wrong. For example, pain felt in the shoulder can be a sign of a heart problem; pain in the hip can indicate a compressed nerve in the back, and painful feet can be a sign of nerve damage (neuropathy).

If you are unsure of the cause of your limb pain, it is a good idea to consult a doctor.

Not sure what to do next?

If you are still concerned about your limb injury, check your symptoms with healthdirect’s online Symptom Checker to get advice on when to seek medical attention.

The Symptom Checker guides you to the next appropriate healthcare steps, whether it’s self care, talking to a health professional, going to a hospital or calling triple zero (000).

Last reviewed: August 2017

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