The humerus, or upper arm bone, extends from the shoulder to the elbow, connecting to both joints. Falls, sports injuries and auto accidents are the most common causes of humerus fractures and other shoulder injuries. The humerus can be broken at the top of the bone near the shoulder, a proximal humerus fracture, or in the shaft of the bone. Often, non-surgical treatment can be used, but surgery intervention may be needed, depending on the extent of the break.
For upper arm bone fractures in the shaft of the humerus, immobilization with a splint, brace or cast may be used if the bone can be realigned. Only the upper arm is immobilized, with the elbow left free. The bone is allowed to heal naturally, with physical therapy used to regain strength and mobility.
In some cases, surgery may be required for a humerus fracture. Pins, screws or plates may be used to hold the bone in place as it heals. A splint or cast is usually not needed; a sling may be recommended to support the arm as it heals. Physical therapy is required to regain mobility and strength.
Treatment for Proximal Humerus Fractures
Proximal humerus fractures are more common in the elderly, especially those with osteoporosis. A fall with an outstretched hand can cause the fracture, as can impact in other accidents. There are several different types of fractures that can occur, but most can be treated with conservative methods. Immobilizing the shoulder and upper arm can allow healing. If displacement or multiple fractures occur, surgery may be required to add screws, pins or plates to repair the bone.
If you have a humerus fracture that needs treatment in the San Francisco Bay Area, contact Dr. Kerisimasi Reynolds for a consultation. His extensive experience as a top orthopedic surgeon can ensure you get the best treatment for a quick recovery.