Humerus Fracture Treatment in Freehold and Monroe Township, NJ
Also known as the upper arm bone, the humerus is a long bone that extends from the shoulder blade (scapula) to the elbow. Often referred to as a broken arm, a humerus fracture is a common injury that can result from trauma, such as a fall onto an outstretched hand. There are two main types of humerus fractures: proximal humerus fractures, which occur close to the shoulder joint, and humerus shaft fractures, which occur near the middle of the upper arm.
Symptoms of a Humerus Fracture
The signs of a humerus fracture can vary based on the location of the break. Some common symptoms include:
- A grinding sensation during shoulder movement
- Restricted range of motion in the shoulder
- A visible deformity
Treatment Options for a Humerus Fracture
A proximal humerus fracture can usually be treated conservatively unless the ends of the broken bone have shifted out of alignment (displaced). Nonsurgical treatment generally involves shoulder immobilization with a sling for two weeks, followed by physical therapy to gradually increase the range of motion in the shoulder. To confirm proper healing, the injury may be monitored with weekly or biweekly shoulder X-rays.
A humerus shaft fracture may be treated with or without surgery, depending on the fracture pattern and the associated injuries, such as a wound or nerve damage. Initially, the elbow is bent at 90 degrees and held in place with a splint that extends from the shoulder to the forearm. After three to four weeks, the splint may be replaced with a cylindrical brace that fits over the upper arm and leaves the elbow free. It can take up to several months for a broken arm to heal completely. In the meantime, shoulder strengthening and range-of-motion exercises should be performed on a daily basis to gradually restore muscle strength, joint motion, and flexibility.
A displaced humerus fracture may require surgery to internally fix the bone fragments in place with plates, screws, or pins. A very severe fracture accompanied by joint degeneration may require a shoulder replacement. To promote healing, elbow exercises may be started immediately after surgery, but shoulder exercises may be delayed for a few weeks based on the fracture pattern.
If you think you might have a humerus fracture, you may not need to rush to a hospital emergency room. The board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons who practice at Advanced Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute (AOSMI) specialize in fracture treatment. And with X-ray technology available on-site at our offices in Freehold and Monroe Township, NJ, we can see to your injury promptly.
Contact AOSMI to request an appointment today.