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What should you know about a humeral shaft fracture?

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2021 | Personal Injury |

The humerus is the bone of your upper arm, between the shoulder and the elbow. If you have a humeral shaft fracture, it means that the bone has broken near the middle rather than at either end.

According to Stat Pearls, common causes of humeral shaft fractures include motor vehicle accidents and slip-and-fall injuries. If you have a humeral shaft fracture, the chances are very good that it will eventually heal. However, the treatment course takes a long time and can be very inconvenient.

Treatment

Rarely, you may have to have surgery to repair a humeral shaft fracture. However, 90% of patients heal completely with non-surgical treatment. This type of conservative treatment requires immobilization of both your shoulder and your elbow to allow the bone fragments to knit back together correctly. There are several different splinting options, and your doctor will choose which one is most effective for you. It can take three to five months to heal a humeral shaft fracture.

Complications

A humeral shaft fracture may cause damage to your radial nerve. This can affect the movement of your arm and strength in your hand and fingers. Injury to the radial nerve occurs in approximately one out of every five humeral shaft fractures. The chances of radial nerve injury increase with an open fracture in which the bone protrudes through the skin.

Eventually, your humeral shaft fracture should heal completely. However, you typically have to endure significant changes to your lifestyle for several months before achieving a satisfactory union. For example, you may not be able to return to work until the fracture heals.

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