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Proximal Humerus Fracture (Shoulder Fracture)

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The proximal humerus is a part of the shoulder that consists of the bone's large rounded head, which is joined to the body by a tight portion called the neck, as well as two eminences. After hip and radial fractures, shoulder fractures are the third most common of all bone fractures. These fractures are often seen in people with osteoporosis as well as those who have strained or injured their muscles.

Treating A Fracture

After a formal assessment of x-rays, doctors may initially suggest forms of therapy to heal the fracture. When done consistently and correctly, therapy can lead to full recovery and optimal mobilization of the area. It has been noted that therapy practices can be just as effective as having surgery.

Because of the commonality of a shoulder fracture, treatment can be as simple as wearing an arm sling, but as any other medical condition, treatment is solely based on the severity of the fracture. Often times, shoulder fractures will go mistreated. If you notice pain in your shoulder that changes from light to serious throughout the day, it's important that you get it checked. Surgical treatment is often an option for those who suffer from a more severe fracture.

Proximal Humerus Surgery

If your fracture is severe and you do need surgery, there are a number of different ways doctors will perform the procedure. In one case, the fracture pieces are put back together and held in position. Another way to treat the fracture is to remove the broken bones and perform a formal shoulder joint replacement procedure.

Shoulder replacements are performed when the fracture is severely displaced or the blood supply to the top humeral is damaged. The head is, in this case, replaced not repaired. The shoulder joint is replaced with titanium and ceramic prostheses. Replacement surgery is quick and on average takes about two hours. Though cases of shoulder fractures don't commonly lead to a need for full shoulder replacement, it is considered for patients that are not likely to heal from other or nonsurgical treatments. Replacement is most often performed in elderly people.

If the fragments of the bone can be fixed, wires, large sutures, screws, pins or plates can be used in order to hold bones in place.

Surgery is also known to have a long rehabilitation process. Doctors are careful in making sure that those who wish to have their fracture repaired surgically are the right kind of candidate. They asses patients based on age, health, expectation, ability and willingness to undergo extensive therapy, and the general need for surgery as a ‘last resort.’ Surgery can help treat parts of the bone that cannot be treated otherwise, but the real relief comes from therapeutic practices after treatment.

At West Medical, we provide comprehensive assessment of each condition, and ensure you receive the proper service for your condition.

If you feel like you may have fractured your shoulder, and want to learn about which treatment option is best suited for your case, call West Medical at (855) 690-0565 and one of our helpful staff members will be able to answer any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!

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