Proximal, axial and distal humerus fractures

A sort of humerus A fracture is a fracture of the upper arm that connects the shoulder and elbow. Humerus fractures are generally divided into three types of injuries based on the location of the fracture.

This article explains the different types of humerus fractures. It will also cover causes, treatment options, and potential complications.

What are the different types of humerus fractures?

the top of the arm bone is called proximal humerusthe bottom of the bone is called distal humerus. In the middle is the medial axis of the humerus. Different types of humerus fractures refer to these specific locations.

proximal humerus fracture

Fractures of the proximal humerus occur near the shoulder joint, which is a ball-and-socket joint. The ball is the top of the humerus. A fracture near the ball is considered a proximal humerus fracture.These fractures may involve rotator cuffa group of tissue that connects the muscles to the bones around the shoulder.

The designated females were twice as affected by these fractures as the designated males. These types of fractures are also common in older adults.

How to treat a proximal humerus fracture

midshaft humerus fracture

Axial humerus fractures occur in the middle of the bone away from the shoulder and elbow joints.These fractures are often associated with damage to the large nerve in the arm, called radial nerve. This nerve or fiber bundle that transmits sensory and motor information runs down the arm to the fingertips. This nerve damage can cause symptoms in the wrist and hand.

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Distal humerus fracture

Fractures of the distal humerus occur near the elbow joint. These fractures usually require surgery unless the bone remains in place. This type of fracture tends to affect assigned male adolescents more than any other group.


Types of humerus fractures include proximal, mid and distal.

How are fractures in children different?

What can cause a humerus fracture?

The most common cause of a humerus fracture is a fall. A car accident or sports-related event can also cause a humerus fracture.

Sometimes a humerus fracture occurs when the bone becomes weak due to abnormal growth of a tumor, infection, or other problem.This situation is called pathological fracture.

What are the possible symptoms?

Symptoms will vary from person to person. However, possible symptoms may include:

  • pain
  • swelling
  • Difficulty moving the shoulder or arm
  • Bruising or bleeding if the bone passes through the skin

Everything you need to know about fractures

How do you treat a humerus fracture?

Treatment of humeral fractures is influenced by the severity of the injury, the age of the individual, and whether the individual has any other medical conditions.


Surgery may be required when the bone is out of place. Fractures that affect the joint are more likely to require surgery. Remember that fractures near the top or center of a bone rarely require surgery.

Plates, screws, or pins can be used to bring the bone back into place. In severe cases, shoulder replacement surgery may be required. During this surgery, certain parts of the bone in the shoulder joint are replaced with artificial implants.

Movement restriction device

In some cases, individuals may be given a sling or brace to help keep their arm still, allowing the fracture to heal. This can be worn for weeks to months, depending on the severity of the break. Imaging tests like X-rays may be done every two weeks to make sure the fracture is healing properly.

physical therapy

physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy, can help reduce pain, increase strength and restore movement. It may also help prevent the injured area from becoming too stiff.

Physical therapy may be recommended to aid the healing process, usually after wearing a sling or brace for a period of time. Your physical therapist is a licensed exercise specialist who will provide you with a variety of exercises. This may include some things you need to do yourself at home.

This is physical therapy after a fracture


Treatment of a humeral fracture may include surgery, physical therapy, and motion-restricting devices such as slings or braces.

What are potential complications?

There are some possible complications of a humerus fracture, including:

  • non-union: Nonunion occurs when a fracture does not unite. There are many reasons why a bone may not heal. One of the most common reasons for non-healing is smoking.
  • Marunion: A malunion occurs when a bone heals but is not in the correct position. Malunion can occur if the bones are not held still long enough, if the bones are not aligned properly, or if medical treatment is delayed. Surgery may be required to correct the position of the bone.
  • Nerve damage: The radial nerve provides sensation to the back of the hand. It also helps with wrist and finger movement. Radial nerve damage can make movement of the wrist and fingers difficult, and may also cause numbness in the area. The nerves may recover within a few months.
  • Stiffness or weakness in the shoulder or elbow: Shoulder problems are common after a proximal humerus fracture. Elbow problems are common after distal humerus fractures. Loss of normal range of motion and weakness can also occur if muscle or connective tissue damage is present.


A humerus fracture is a fracture of the upper arm that connects the shoulder and elbow. Types of humerus fractures include proximal, mid and distal.

Humerus fractures are often caused by falls, car accidents, and sports injuries. Other conditions that weaken the bone can also cause a humerus fracture.

Treatment may include surgery, motion-restriction devices, and physical therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Which part of the humerus is most prone to injury?

    The proximal humerus is the most commonly injured part of the humerus. This type of fracture is also the third most common fracture in general.

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  • How serious is a humerus fracture?

    Any type of fracture is considered serious. However, the severity of fractures varies from person to person.

  • How long does it take for a humerus fracture to heal completely?

    Humerus fractures can take weeks to months to heal, depending on the severity.