Proximal Humerus Fracture

A Proximal Humerus Fracture refers to a break in the upper part of the arm bone (humerus) near the shoulder. These kinds of fractures, commonly seen in older adults due to osteoporosis, can cause severe pain and limit mobility in the shoulder joint.

Symptoms

In the event of a Proximal Humerus Fracture, here are some common signs:

  • Intense pain in the shoulder
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Limited arm movement
  • Visible deformity in the upper arm

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of a Proximal Humerus Fracture includes:

  • Physical Examination: A doctor will check the shoulder for tenderness, swelling, and deformity.
  • Imaging Tests: X-rays are typically used to diagnose the injury. In more complex cases, a CT scan may be necessary for detailed information.

Prevention

Preventing a Proximal Humerus Fracture involves:

  • Protective Measures: Ensure you use appropriate padding and protective gear during physical activities.
  • Fall Prevention: Making your environment safer by removing any potential trip hazards can help prevent falls.
  • Bone Health: Adequate nutrition and regular weight-bearing exercises are essential to maintain strong bones.

Treatment

Treatment for a Proximal Humerus Fracture can be non-surgical or surgical, and will involve a period of rehabilitation.

  • Non-Surgical Treatment: This usually includes immobilisation with a sling, pain management with medication, and physiotherapy to restore mobility and strength.
  • Surgical Treatment: If the fracture is severe or the bone fragments have displaced, surgery may be necessary. This often involves repositioning the fragments and securing them with screws, plates, or rods.
  • Rehabilitation: Regardless of the type of treatment, physiotherapy is crucial in regaining full shoulder function.

As always, treatment plans should be individualised, based on the patient’s condition and lifestyle, and developed in consultation with a healthcare provider.