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Humerus Shaft Fracture

Aka: Humerus Shaft Fracture, Humeral Shaft Fracture
  1. See Also
    1. Proximal Humerus Fracture
  2. Epidemiology
    1. Humeral Shaft Fractures represent 3% of all Fractures
    2. Age distribution bimodal
      1. Young patients (High energy Trauma)
      2. Elderly patients (Low energy injury)
  3. Mechanism
    1. Direct blow to Humerus
    2. Fall on an outstretched arm
  4. Signs
    1. Upper arm with deformity
    2. Evaluate for Compartment Syndrome
      1. Complete neurovascular exam
    3. Evaluate for Radial Nerve injury
      1. Wrist Drop
      2. Finger extension weakness
      3. Supination weakness
      4. Radial Nerve decreased Sensation (e.g. Two Point Discrimination)
  5. Imaging
    1. Humerus XRay (2 view)
      1. Consider XRay Shoulder for associated Shoulder Dislocation
      2. Consider XRay elbow for associated Forearm Fracture
  6. Management: Manipulative reduction with local Anesthetic
    1. Pitfalls
      1. Avoid distraction of Fracture fragments
    2. Patient positioning
      1. Patient sits on stool, leaning forward
      2. Support wrist to overcome apprehension
      3. Elbow should hang free at 90 degrees flexion
    3. Reduction Technique
      1. Weight of arm alone may reduce Fracture
      2. Gentle traction downward at wrist
      3. Countertraction with a sling around axilla
      4. Assistant holds axilla sling and thumb
      5. While molding splint, apply valgus pressure at Fracture to overcome typical varus displacement
    4. Confirm end-to-end apposition
      1. Apply upward pressure on elbow
      2. Telescoping Humerus indicates apposition not secure
  7. Management: Splint Immobilization
    1. Coaptation Splint: U-Shaped splint "Sugar-Tong"
      1. Splint medially from axilla to elbow
      2. Closed end of "U" under elbow (flexed to 90 degrees)
      3. Splint over lateral arm to Shoulder acromion process
    2. Ace wrap around splinted arm
    3. May swath by strapping Humerus to chest
    4. Sling to support elbow and Forearm
  8. Management: Surgery Indications
    1. Open or Comminuted Fracture
    2. Vascular Injury
    3. Brachial Plexus Injury
    4. Ipsilateral Forearm Fracture (floating elbow)
    5. Compartment Syndrome
  9. Management: Follow-up
    1. Replace initial splint with Sarmiento Brace within 2 weeks of Fracture
    2. Electromyogram Indications
      1. Indicated in Radial Nerve Palsy or other neurologic deficit
      2. Perform at 6 weeks after injury
  10. Prognosis
    1. Heals in 8 to 10 weeks
    2. Heals well with closed reduction (non-operative in >90% of cases)
      1. Even malunion with mild angulation is typically well tolerated
  11. Complications
    1. Acute Compartment Syndrome
    2. Radial Nerve Injury (Radial Nerve Palsy, 11-20% of Humeral Fractures)
      1. Travels along spiral groove, in close contact with humeral shaft
      2. Most Radial Nerve injuries (80%) resolve spontaneously with time
      3. Consider surgical exploration if failure to resolve
  12. Resources
    1. Bounds (2020) Humeral Shaft Fractures, Stat Pearls
      1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK448074/
  13. References
    1. Lin (2021) CRit Dec Emerg Med 35(4): 14-5
    2. Walker (2011) J Shoulder Elbow Surg 20(5): 833-44 +PMID: 21393016 [PubMed]

Fracture of shaft of humerus (C0272612)

Concepts Injury or Poisoning (T037)
ICD10 S42.3
SnomedCT 208289009, 157208007, 50890004
German Fraktur des Humerusschaftes
Korean 위팔뼈 몸통의 골절
English fracture of shaft of humerus, humerus shaft fracture, fracture humerus of shaft, shaft humerus fracture, fracture humerus shaft, shaft of humerus fracture, fracture of humerus shaft, fracture of humerus shaft (diagnosis), Fracture of shaft of humerus, Fracture of shaft of humerus (disorder), fracture; humerus, shaft, humerus; fracture, shaft
Spanish fractura de diáfisis de húmero (trastorno), fractura de la diáfisis del húmero, fractura de diáfisis de húmero, fractura de la diáfisis del húmero (trastorno)
Dutch fractuur; humerus, schacht, humerus; fractuur, schacht, Fractuur van schacht van humerus
Sources
Derived from the NIH UMLS (Unified Medical Language System)


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