Can You Fly With A Broken Bone?

The most frequently asked question among patients who are planning to travel somewhere after a break is, are they allowed to fly in this condition?

Broken bones make flying a challenge. However, if you need to get somewhere and can’t take it easy, flying with an injury is an option. But you need to be very careful and plan to make sure you stay safe and stop more harm from happening.

So, can you fly with a broken bone?

If you have a fractured bone and your flight is less than 2 hours long, most airlines will not allow you to fly until at least 24 hours have passed since the injury occurred.

However, most airlines stipulate that you cannot fly with a break or fracture beyond 48 hours if your flight is more than 2 hours long.

While it’s always a good idea to double-check with your airline before taking off, the above is generally how major airlines work.

This article talks about a few common types of bone injuries and some other precautionary measures that may need to be taken before flying.

So, keep reading till the end!

Can You Fly With A Broken Bone

Can You Fly With A Broken Bone?

As long as the broken bone is properly set and secured, air travel is safe. If you’ve recently been released from the hospital with a plaster cast protecting an injury, you might want to think about flying with a broken bone. Patients should also raise their affected limbs during flight to reduce swelling, which is called edema.

When flying with a broken limb, the most important thing is to keep it from getting hurt even more. Broken leg bones might increase the possibility of blood clots when traveling because they limit your ability to get up and walk about. 

If a patient is going to be traveling with an injury or a fractured bone, they should discuss the best strategies to prevent the formation of blood clots with their doctor before leaving.

How about if I have a cast on?

If the cast does not extend below the knee and you can still fit in an aisle seat, you are capable of boarding a plane. However, you may need to arrange for a special seat or perhaps an extra seat with the company if your plaster cast completely covers your knee and makes it impossible to bend.

Flying with a plaster cast is possible on several airlines. However, you may be required to purchase additional seats. It’s against the rules to sit in a row near an exit unless you’re prepared to get up and move quickly in the event of an emergency, even if that row has more legroom.

Are bones chipped or broken?

First, you should know that the terms “fractured bone” and “broken bone” are practically the same thing. That’s right; if you’ve been diagnosed with a broken or fractured bone, you’re still subject to the same care guidelines.

You can still go on vacation even if you’ve broken a bone or two in a bad accident. If your doctor says you’re good to go, your specific situation (how much your injury has limited your mobility) and the rules of your preferred airline will all affect whether or not you can fly.

That means you should talk to your doctor or physical therapist first if you’ve recently fractured a bone and are considering taking a trip. If you or someone you’re traveling with gets sick and can’t move around, like a broken bone, you’ll have to reschedule your trip.

So, it’s important to get medical advice from a professional, which may mean making changes to your vacation plans.

When a bone is fractured, how long does it take for it to heal?

This is highly individual and dependent on the specifics of the injury sustained. With the correct care, certain non-displaced fractures can heal in as little as three weeks. The healing process for the most serious breaks can take longer than 10 weeks.

The injuries will heal more quickly in a younger person, which is just to be expected. If you hurt yourself recently and have a trip planned, you should probably find out when you can expect to be fully healed.

Keep in mind that you can feel pain or weakness in your muscles long after your bone has healed. Physical therapists can only offer you a general estimate of when you’ll be back to normal. With this information, you can make the changes to your daily schedule you need to make to fit your travel plans in plenty of time.

The duration of edema following a bone fracture is not known.

Air travel isn’t the best option for people who experience swelling during flights. Leg and ankle swelling can be brought on by cabin pressure and sitting for long periods. The vast majority of individuals experience this regularly, so it’s nothing to worry about.

When a bone breaks, the body reacts by making the area around the break swell up. In the first two weeks following an injury, this is most pronounced.

You will have to make it clear that everything around you will just work magically, and you will begin to wonder how things started working and where you hold a place in your life, so instead of wondering if that works or not, you must understand where you belong.

Is a broken arm a hindrance to flight?

While it is important to double-check with your specific airline before traveling with a broken arm, in general, you will need to wait at least 24 hours after getting a plaster cast before taking a flight of two hours or less, and possibly 48 hours before taking a flight of more than two hours duration. 

The reason for this is that if you fly right after getting your cast put on, the swelling in your arm can interfere with your blood flow, which can raise your chance of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or/and compartment syndrome. 

If you need to travel in the first 24 to 28 hours after getting a cast, a doctor will usually split the cast and put it back on when you get there.

How about if you have a broken leg?

In the same way that you would consult your doctor and airline if you broke your arm, you should do the same if you had a cast on your leg. Again, it’s possible that your doctor will advise you to wait 24 or 48 hours after the cast has been applied, or that they’ll suggest splitting the cast in two while you fly and then reattaching it when you land. 

For both safety, Due to insurance considerations, a passenger with a broken leg is not likely to be allowed to board a flight.

You need to think about more than just getting on the plane with a broken leg; you also need to get through the airport. You should contact your airline well in advance of your flight if you think you may need a wheelchair. They have the power to make sure that wheelchairs are available at both the airport where the trip starts and the airport where it ends. 

Also, you must let your airline know ahead of time that you will be traveling with crutches. Keep in mind, though, that items will probably be stowed away in the hold during your journey and won’t be accessible until you’ve arrived at your final destination.

Finally, if you’re having trouble getting around because of a broken leg, it’s important to get a parking spot near the airport.

When are you unable to take a trip?

While it’s not impossible to fly after suffering a fractured bone, there are circumstances in which it’s best to stay on the ground.

If your doctor says flying isn’t safe for you, you shouldn’t go. Do not leave until you have received clearance from your doctor.

If you have a knee injury that makes it hard for you to bend your knee, you might want to skip the flight because it could make your condition worse.

Advice for Traveling with Broken Bones:

Here are some things to think about if you’ve decided to travel despite an injury:

If you have any doubts about whether or not it is safe for you to fly, go to your doctor. If that’s the case, you should inquire about ways to lessen the likelihood of further injury while in flight with a fractured skeleton.

People with leg injuries who need to fly should call the airline ahead of time to reserve extra seats.

If you’re going to be traveling, you should get some sort of travel insurance that includes emergency medical coverage. 

The insurance will pay for your medical bills and provide you with a service provider who can help you arrange for alternative transportation and lodging if you break a leg while on vacation and have to come back home early.


We’ve done our best to ensure that all relevant parts of the question “Can you fly with a broken bone?” are covered on this page. Even if you have fractured bones, you can still fly. As long as your injuries don’t leave you helpless or force you to rest for a long time, you shouldn’t let them stop you from going on your next big adventure. Always consult your physician before flying, just to be safe.

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