Humeral Shaft Fracture Treatment, Fractured Humeral Shaft, Bone Fracture Surgery, Symptoms and Healing Time
Humeral shaft fractures are classified as major fractures wherein the bone crack is found distally from the pectoralis major and proximally into the supracondylar ridge of the main bone. According to statistics, this type of fracture composes approximately 3-5% of all adult bone fractures. Children who have this injury get it from suffering from a direct impact to the humerus. Humerus shaft injuries in adults, on the other hand, often occur as isolated fractures which are the result of accidents like falling and slipping.
Humeral Shaft Fracture Types
There is no official classification scheme used in identifying the types of humeral shaft bone fractures. There is one classification, however, being proposed for the study of internal fixation although these are already universally used and these the following.
• Type A: there is no comminution or multiple fracture on the bone.
• Type B: butterfly fragments are seen on the bone.
• Type C: there is comminution observed on the bone.
Diagnosis for humeral shaft fractures starts with a brief medical interview by the doctor and a couple of physical examinations. Radiographic evaluations will be requested which include scans of the lateral and AP view of the humerus. Bone scans of the head of the humerus and the elbow will also be included. Orthogonal views are parts of the requirement for diagnosing a humeral shaft fracture. To have the results, the patient should be moved on different angles but not on the extent of moving the injured part which can further the injury. Padded splints and other immobilization techniques will be administered until the physician designates the type of treatment that must be applied. Cases that are more serious will require full skin assessment near the injured area to see if there are any open fractures that will need immediate treatment. Patients with open fractures will need to undergo neurovascular exam to check if there are any veins or skin tissues that were damaged together with the injury. Rehabilitation or rehab is very important.
Humeral Shaft Fracture Causes
• Direct trauma (automobile, sports accidents)
• Too much rotation of the injured area
• Overexertion of stress
Humeral Shaft Fracture Symptoms
• Mild fever
Humeral Shaft Fracture Treatment
Since most humerus shaft fractures are only mild in nature, they can be effectively managed with the use of non-operative measures. First aid is also encouraged as well as the R.I.C.E method. R stands for rest, I for ice, C for compression, and E for elevation. Most humeral shaft fractures only need lengthy rest to be treated. Ice must be applied on the affected area to reduce the swelling while compression with the use of casts or braces is done to stop the injured area from having unnecessarily movements. The last stage of first aid is elevation. Here, the affected part is raised on an angle to prevent swelling. Non-operative treatments commonly involve the application of a functional brace after the swelling of the fractured area has already subsided. Slings should be avoided as much as possible because they can cause more angulation to the affected area.
On the other hand, there are cases of humeral shaft fractures that can best be treated with the use of surgery because surgery can present better optimal functioning of the injured part and there will be rapid healing of the injury. Several indications of the humeral fractures which need internal fixations are floating injuries of the elbow, transverse injuries, nonunion even after application of preliminary reduction, segmental injuries, and polytraumatic injuries. Cases of nonunion often need the use of humeral plate stabilization and sometimes even bone grafting. Bone grafting involves getting a healthy piece of bone from your healthy bone and graft it on your bone that has a missing part.
Humeral Fracture Healing Time or Recovery Time: It normally takes more than 6 weeks.
Prevention Of Humeral Shaft Bone Injury
Humeral shaft fractures are caused by the application of sudden traumatic force colliding on bones so being careful when doing highly hazardous activities is the most effective preventive measures of all. Using protection gears such as padding for sports and airbags for possibilities of automobile accidents can help minimize the force applied on the bone. Taking bone supplementing minerals like calcium is also a good preventive measure against any bone fracture. Calcium is a bone-friendly mineral which helps improve the bone structure and strengthens the bone. Doing regular exercises can also promote bone flexibility and this is necessary because when your bones are pliable you can absorb shock impacts easily without fracturing your bone’s structure.
When to Call a Doctor
Although the humerus is a large and tough bone, it can also break easily by a high-energy impact so it is still not safe to think that your upper arm is strong enough to be protected from humeral shaft fracture. Call your doctor if you experienced an accident that you think had broke your upper arm bone because the radial nerves that supply blood to the whole arm are located right outside the humerus bone. If radial nerves are damaged and left untreated, you can lose the function of your arm permanently.