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Shoulder Fracture (Proximal Humerus Fracture) Treatment

The humerus, or upper arm bone, connects to the scapula at the shoulder joint. The humeral head, or top of the upper arm bone, creates the “ball” that fits into the scapula (shoulder bone) socket. When a joint fracture occurs in the upper humerus, it is called a proximal humerus fracture, impacting shoulder joint and arm function. Jonathan Glashow, MD, Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine provides advanced shoulder fracture (proximal humerus fracture) treatment and surgical options at our clinic in New York City.

Proximal humerus fractures are different than a broken arm or mid-bone fracture. The upper humerus is part of the joint and can impact the rotator cuff, joint movement and nerves that travel through the shoulder joint. An evaluation of the shoulder fracture is needed to determine if there is additional damage to other tissues or nerves. The outcome of the evaluation determines the best treatment for the proximal humerus fracture.

Repairing a Shoulder Fracture

If the proximal humerus fracture does not shift pieces of bone out of their normal formation, the bone can usually be allowed to heal without surgery. Immobilizing shoulder and arm movement for a few weeks can allow the pieces of bone to fuse and heal. This is with monitoring of the fracture with x-rays and imaging to ensure it heals correctly. The healing process should be followed by physical therapy and exercise to restore strength and range of motion.

For more severe shoulder fractures, surgery may be required. If the humeral head has broken bones that have shifted out of place, or there is other damage to the shoulder joint, surgery can repair the bone and joint. Internal fixation can be used to repair the proximal humerus fracture. In some circumstances, the humeral head may be too damaged to repair, and partial or complete shoulder joint replacement may be required.

Shoulder fractures require the expertise of an orthopedic surgeon for the best care during recovery. Jonathan Glashow, MD, Orthopedic Surgery & Sports Medicine offers a same day diagnosis, consultation and treatment/surgery for proximal humerus fractures at our clinic on the Upper East Side of NYC. Contact us today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Glashow.

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