What is a Humerus Fracture?

humerus-fractureThe humerus is a bone that runs from the shoulder the scapula (shoulder blade) to the elbow. In fact, there are two ways to classify a humerus fracture, proximal fracture, or a shaft fracture.

A proximal humerus fracture can have two different fracture patterns, simple and comminuted (small splinter-like patterns.) The proximal fracture occurs close to the shoulder joint. On the other hand, a shaft fracture is located at the mid-portion of the arm. Therefore, the difference between the two are location.

A humerus fracture is an extremely common injury of the shoulder joint. It is especially common for the elderly. Most often due to osteoporosis.

Humerus Fracture Causes

Any injury such as a hard blow can result in a humerus fracture. However, depending on the injury often also determines the type of fracture. More often a fracture is caused by a fall on an outstretched hand.

Although a fracture can also be caused by a condition. These types of conditions would leave your bones weak and therefore more likely to break.

Conditions which this can occur are as follows:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Cysts or tumors on bone
  • Bone cancer
  • Bone infection

Symptoms of a Shoulder Fracture

Symptoms of a humerus fracture include shoulder pain, swelling, and bruising. However, If the bone breaks through the skin, bleeding can occur. It’s typical for the arm, shoulder, and elbow to be hard to move also.

Treatment Options

Depending on the severity of the break will determine the treatment options. if necessary, the bone can be put back into place, with or without surgery. It’s important to speak to your orthopedic if you suspect a fracture.

Conservative treatment methods include:

  • Cold packs. Putting an ice pack on the injured area may help reduce swelling and pain.

  • Pain medicines. Taking prescription or over-the-counter pain medicines may help reduce pain and swelling.

  • Exercises. Doing certain exercises at home or with a physical therapist can help improve strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the shoulder, arm, or elbow.

Patients should consult with their surgeons to determine the right approach. If you are experiencing a fracture or shoulder related issues, call us today at 888-409-8006. We offer top shoulder specialists in the South Florida area.