Distal Humerus Fracture

Distal Humerus Fracture

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Recommended Exercise

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Orthotic Device And Benefits

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Distal Humerus Fracture

Arm

What Is Distal Humerus Fracture?

A distal humerus fracture is a break in the bone at the end of your upper arm. The fracture can range from a simple crack to a complete break. A complete distal humerus fracture occurs when the bone cracks completely through all layers of tissue and is no longer held together by anything.

The distal humerus is one of the strongest bones in your body, so it takes a lot of force to break it. You can get a distal humerus fracture if you fall or are in an accident where you land on your outstretched hand, or if your arm gets hit or twisted while playing sports.

What Are The Types Of Distal Humerus Fracture?

There are several Types of Distal Humerus Fracture:

The type of fracture depends on where the break occurs and how it affects the bone.

  • Lateral Distal Humerus Fracture: A lateral distal humerus fracture is located on the outside of your upper arm bone. It occurs when your ulna (the smaller bone in your forearm) breaks near where it meets the humerus (upper arm bone). The majority of these fractures are caused by falls or trauma.
  • Medial Distal Humerus Fracture: A medial distal humerus fracture is located on the inside of your upper arm bone, just below where it meets your radius (the larger bone in your forearm). These fractures are usually caused by trauma or stress (such as from repetitive use), but they can also occur after falling onto an outstretched hand.
  • Posterior Distal Humerus Fracture: A posterior distal humerus fracture occurs behind (posterior) your shoulder joint and causes pain in your shoulder blade area. This type of fracture is often caused by traumatic injury or falling onto an outstretched hand with a bent elbow.
  • A compression fracture happens when someone steps on or kicks your arm with enough force to snap the bone. This type of injury usually happens when someone falls while playing sport or while climbing up stairs/ladders/etcetera.
  • A simple fracture happens when there isn’t much force involved—for example, if you fall against a wall and hit your arm hard enough for it to break but not hard enough for it to shatter into many pieces.

What Are The Causes Of Distal Humerus Fracture?

The distal humerus is the lower end of your upper arm bone. It can fracture in many different ways, including falling on your outstretched hand or arm and landing with all your weight on it. Other causes include:

  • Falling down stairs
  • Hitting yourself on an object while playing sports
  • Falling onto an elbow or shoulder while riding a bicycle

What Are The Symptoms Of Distal Humerus Fracture?

The symptoms of a distal humerus fracture include:

  • Severe pain in your arm, especially in the upper arm and shoulder
  • Swelling and bruising around the area of the fracture
  • Limited movement in your arm, especially when you try to lift it away from your body
  • Inability to rotate your forearm inward or outward (pronate and supinate)

What Are The Risk Factors For Distal Humerus Fracture?

The most common risk factors for a distal humerus fracture are:

  • Age over 55 years
  • Osteoporosis or other bone diseases
  • Injury to the arm from a fall on an outstretched hand
  • Previous injury to the arm

Recommended Exercise

Arm

What Are The Exercises For Distal Humerus Fracture?

If you’ve had a distal humerus fracture, the first step to getting back to normal is making sure you can do your daily activities with ease. The most important thing is to avoid doing anything that causes pain.

The exercises below will help you get stronger and more comfortable with movement so that you can resume your normal life sooner.

Wrist Extension

To do this exercise, hold your forearm out in front of you at shoulder height with your palm facing down. Hold your wrist in place as if it were resting on something, then move it up and down 10 times. This exercise should be done several times throughout the day.

Hand Grip Strengthening

This exercise involves gripping a hand grip machine or other handheld object, squeezing it as hard as possible for 5 seconds, then releasing for 5 seconds before repeating again 10 times consecutively. Do this exercise several times throughout the day.

Finger Extension

To do this exercise, extend one finger at a time as far as possible away from the palm of your hand for 5 seconds each time before moving on to the next finger (starting with index finger). Do this exercise several times throughout the day.

What Are The Treatments For Distal Humerus Fracture?

There are a number of treatments for distal humerus fracture, including:

Cast Immobilization

  • Casting is the usual treatment for a distal humerus fracture. A cast is usually worn for 6 weeks to 6 months, depending on the severity of the injury and your doctor’s recommendations. Your doctor may also advise you to perform physical therapy exercises during this time to help with healing and decrease stiffness.

Physical Therapy

  • Physical therapy can help improve flexibility and strength in your arm as well as help relieve pain and swelling associated with a distal humerus fracture. Physical therapists will teach you how to use your arm more effectively after it heals from the fracture so that you can return to normal activities sooner.

Surgery

  • If you have a more serious fracture, it may be necessary for you to undergo surgery to repair your arm. This surgery involves setting and stabilizing your broken bones with metal plates, pins or wires. Once you have recovered from this surgery, physical therapy may be recommended to help regain mobility in your arm.

Explanation of Recommended Orthotic Device

Arm

What brace is used for Distal Humerus Fracture?

The brace that is used for a distal humerus fracture is a hinged orthosis.

  • A hinged external fixator is used for fractures of the tibia, fibula, and femur.
  • An over-the-shoulder sling is used for fractures at the wrist or ankle.
  • A long-arm orthosis is used for fractures of the upper arm or forearm.

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Orthomed Shoulder Brace

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Orthomed Shoulder Brace

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Orthomed Shoulder Brace

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