Prompt Humerus Fracture Treatment in Lafayette, LA, Can Lead to Proper Healing
A humerus fracture, or broken upper arm, is a crack or break in the long bone that extends from the shoulder to the elbow. This type of injury usually results from direct trauma to the upper arm, which can occur in a car accident, sports-related collision, or fall onto an outstretched hand.
A broken upper arm bone can be classified based on the location of the break. A proximal humerus fracture occurs at the upper end of the humerus near the shoulder joint. A humerus shaft fracture occurs near the middle of the upper arm bone. A distal humerus fracture occurs at the lower end of the humerus near the elbow joint.
What are the symptoms of a broken upper arm bone?
In addition to severe pain in the upper arm or shoulder, a humerus fracture may cause:
- A grinding sensation when moving the shoulder
- Reduced range of motion in the shoulder joint
- Weakness, numbness, and tingling sensations in the wrist or hand (if nerves are affected)
A delay in the diagnosis and treatment of a humerus fracture can lead to poor healing. Therefore, if you are experiencing upper arm pain that is interfering with your daily activities, you should see a physician right away. Peter D. Vizzi, M.D., a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who practices in Lafayette, Louisiana, offers a full range of treatment options for humerus fractures and other musculoskeletal conditions. After evaluating your injury, Dr. Vizzi can discuss an appropriate treatment approach.
How is a humerus fracture treated?
If a fractured upper arm bone has not shifted out of position, treatment may consist of immobilization and physical therapy. A sling can be worn to stabilize and support the arm while the injury heals (casting is generally not used for treating humerus fractures).
On the other hand, if the ends of a fractured humerus have moved out of alignment, surgery may be discussed. For instance, Dr. Vizzi may perform an open reduction and internal fixation procedure to realign the upper arm bone and secure it in place with surgical hardware, such as plates, pins, screws, or wires. To address a severe proximal humerus fracture, a shoulder replacement procedure may be considered.
Because arm movement is essential to enhance circulation and prevent stiffness, physical therapy may be started soon after a humerus fracture is reduced (if necessary) and stabilized. Many patients begin with passive range-of-motion exercises, then gradually progress to muscle-strengthening exercises.
If you think you might have a humerus fracture and would like to discuss your treatment options with Dr. Vizzi, contact his office to schedule a consultation in Lafayette, LA, today.