Dr Marcus Chia - Shoulder Surgeon
Learn about proximal humerus fracture causes and treatment options. Dr Chia uses minimally invasive and advanced techniques to help you heal, recover and improve your motion.
A proximal humerus fracture is a common type of shoulder fracture. Fractures are broken bones. Minor fractures are small cracks in the bone that are hard to spot on an X-Ray. In severe fractures, the bones may break completely or shatter into many pieces.
A proximal humerus fracture occurs close to the shoulder joint on the humerus. The humerus is the bone that runs from your shoulder and shoulder blade to your elbow.
Falls, accidents or injuries usually cause proximal humerus fractures.
Common causes of these fractures include:
Proximal humerus fractures tend to be more common in older people with weak bones (conditions known as osteoporosis or osteopenia). People with weak bones have a higher risk of fractures and their bones are more likely to break during everyday activities.
If you have a proximal humerus fracture, you will usually notice the following signs and symptoms near your shoulder:
You may be unable to move your shoulder completely. If you can move your shoulder, you may feel like the bones are loose or grating. Severe fractures can make the shoulder look out of place. Some people also get nerve damage that affects the normal movement of the arm.
There are several different treatment options for proximal humerus fractures, including surgery, limited movement and physiotherapy. All forms of treatment aim to hold your broken bone in place until your bone has completely healed.
The treatment that best suits your fracture will depend on factors such as:
If you have a mild fracture, or if your bone fragments have not moved out of position, you may not need surgery. Your treatment program will involve limiting the movement of your shoulder and physiotherapy. You will need to wear a sling, brace or splint. You will also need to keep your shoulder in a fixed position for several weeks. After that, you can start gentle exercises that will help to increase your shoulder’s range of motion.
Recovery is a balancing act. Be mindful that doing too many exercises may displace your fracture further yet avoiding exercise altogether can cause a stiff shoulder.
If your fracture is complex or bone fragments have moved out of their normal position, you may need surgery. There are different surgery options, and your surgery will depend on the location and seriousness of the fracture. Dr Chia will guide you on the most suitable treatment options.
Surgery options for proximal humerus fractures include:
Dr Chia will talk to you about the available options and develop a personalised treatment plan, including treatment, rehabilitation and follow-up care. You’ll need to carefully follow your treatment program to give your fracture the best chance of healing and avoid further injury.
Dr Marcus Chia, a Sydney based orthopaedic surgeon, can diagnose and treat your proximal humerus fracture. An experienced shoulder surgeon, Dr Chia uses minimally invasive and advanced techniques to help you heal, recover and improve your motion.
If you are concerned you may have a shoulder injury, contact us today
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. The information provided here is for general educational purposes only. For more information on shoulder arthritis and shoulder arthroplasty, please contact the office of Dr Marcus Chia - Sydney Orthopaedic Shoulder and Elbow Surgeon.
For appointments and enquiries, please phone (02) 8014 4252
There are limited slots available for online bookings. For more appointment options, such as earlier dates/times or urgent appointments, please contact our rooms directly.