Humeral Shaft Fracture
(Upper Arm Fracture)
Hu-merr-ull Shaft Fracture
by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
The humerus is the long bone in the upper arm. A humeral shaft fracture is a fracture of the long, narrow part of the bone.
These fractures are caused by trauma to the bone from:
Factors that may raise the risk of this type of fracture are:
Symptoms may be:
You will be asked about your symptoms, health history, and how the injury happened. An exam will be done. It will focus on your arm.
Images will be taken of the arm to look for the fracture. This can be done with:
Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Most fractures of this type heal without surgery.
A cast, splint, or brace will be used to help the bone stay in line while they heal.
More severe fractures may need surgery to realign the broken pieces. Screws, plates, or wires may be used to hold the fracture in place.
To lower the chance of this type of fracture:
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Ortho Info—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Canadian Orthopaedic Foundation
Humeral shaft fracture. Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America website. Available at: https://posna.org/Physician-Education/Study-Guide/Humeral-Shaft-Fractures. Accessed June 19, 2019.
Humeral shaft fracture—emergency management. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dyname.... Accessed June 19, 2019.
Spiguel A, Steffner R. Humeral shaft fractures. Curr Rev Musculoskeletal Med. 2012 Sep;5(3):177-183. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3535078. Accessed June 19, 2019.
Updegrove GF, Mourad W, et al. Humeral shaft fractures. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2018 Apr;27(4):e87-e97.
Last reviewed June 2019 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardWarren A. Bodine, DO, CAQSM
Last Updated: 4/21/2020
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