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Shoulder Fractures (Proximal Humerus Fractures) Treatment

The shoulder has two joints that allow the arm to swing and move with a wide range of motion. The main movement joint is the glenohumeral ball-and-socket joint where the humerus attaches to the shoulder blade. The top of the humerus is the “ball” that connects to the rotator cuff tendons, the proximal humerus. When this part of the upper arm bone is broken, it can cause a complex fracture injury. At Jonathan L. Glashow, MD orthopedic surgery and sports injury center, we offer shoulder fractures (proximal humerus fractures) treatment at our Miami, FL, facility.

There are different types of shoulder fractures. The AC joint that connects the shoulder blade to the clavicle can break or separate, as well as fractures to the shoulder blade. When it comes to arm movement, a proximal humerus fracture can be detrimental. A broken proximal humerus is the most common type of upper arm fracture. It can be caused by:

  • Falls – either landing directly on the shoulder or on an outstretched arm
  • Direct blow to the shoulder – common in contact sports such as football or hockey
  • Impact – car accidents or high elevation falls can shatter the proximal humerus

Shoulder fractures in the glenohumeral joint are more common among those that are over the age of 60 unless there is extreme impact on the bone.

Shoulder Joint Repair

The shoulder contains many moving parts and shelters nerves that pass through to the arm and hand. When there is a fracture of the proximal humerus, the injury must be carefully evaluated to determine the best treatment. Simple fractures that allow the bone to stay in place and connected to the rotator cuff may not require surgery. If the arm is stabilized and immobilized, the bone can heal. However, even simple shoulder fracture injuries will require several months of rehabilitation to restore strength and range of motion.

For a broken shoulder with misaligned bone fragments and other damage to the joint, surgery may be required. This can include hardware used to repair the proximal humerus and restore the connection between the tendons and ligaments in the joint.

Shoulder joint fractures can be very complicated due to the many components involved. If you sustain a complex shoulder or proximal humerus fracture, you need an orthopedic shoulder specialist to repair and restore the joint. Dr. Glashow is one of the top shoulder specialists in the country – contact our office in Miami, FL, if you need shoulder fracture treatment.

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