A humerus fracture is an injury to the bone in the upper arm that connects the shoulder to the elbow. There are many types of humerus fractures, some of which require surgery to achieve a good alignment of the fragments and good bone consolidation.
Humerus surgery consists of linking the broken bone fragments, so that the consolidation is more effective, although it will take longer. Humerus fractures are generally divided into three types of lesions:
Fractures of the proximal humerus
Fractures of the proximal humerus occur near the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint is a spherical joint, with the ball as the top of the humerus bone. Fractures of this ball are considered fractures of the proximal humerus. These fractures may involve the insertion of the rotator cuff tendons. Because these tendons are important for shoulder movement, treatment may depend on the position of these tendon insertions.
Mid-axis humerus fractures
Medial humerus fractures occur far from the shoulder and elbow joints. Most humeral diaphysis fractures heal without surgery, but there are some situations that require surgical intervention. These lesions are commonly associated with injury to one of the large nerves in the arm, called the radial nerve. Injury to this nerve can cause symptoms in the wrist and hand.
Distal humerus fractures
Fractures of the distal humerus are rare injuries in adults. These fractures occur near the elbow joint. These fractures most often require surgical treatment unless the bones are held in the correct position. This type of fracture is much more common in children, but the treatment is very different in this age group.