Medical Questions > Conditions and Diseases > Orthopedics Forum

fracture humerus

Must Read
Think you might be experiencing bone loss? Check out this Intro to Osteoporosis and evaluate your risk for developing bone weakness. ...
Although bone mass loss is normal as we age, some people are more at risk of developing osteoporosis than others. Are you at risk? More here....
Do you have severe back pain? Do your bones break frequently or with little pressure? You might be experiencing osteoporosis. Found out more here....
i fractured my humerus this is mid week f my 5th week and it and i find it still sore and i can only raise my arm a bit outwards and to the side but i can bend it up the ways. should it be mending or how many weeks does it actually take for a broken humerus to heal
Did you find this post helpful?
|

User Profile
replied March 8th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
connolly19,

It is variable, but it usually takes about 8-10 week for a humerus to unite. So, while your fracture is probably healing well, it still has a ways to go.

You will probably notice increased discomfort when you place a bending stress on the upper arm (the humerus), such as when trying to hold your arm straight out. You may not be able to do this yet, which is okay.

Continue to work on your finger, wrist, and elbow motion. The fact that the pain is decreased, means that it is healing. But, you still have some time to go yet for complete union.

If your surgeon says it is okay, you can start working on shoulder motion, with the use of pendulum (Codman's) exercises. This swinging action will help to loosen up the shoulder. Once the bone is united, then you can start putting more stress on it, by doing wall walks and actively moving the shoulder.

It will take several more weeks before your are completely recovered. Even after the bone is healed, you will have to regain motion and strength. And, that takes effort and time.

The biggest thing is to try to avoid developing a frozen shoulder. So, as soon as the surgeon says it is okay to move the shoulder, try to do so.

Good luck.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 8th, 2012
ok thanks when can i start to drive again i have the fracture clinic this monday coming hopefully i will get it x rayed and see how the healing process is going. I was at the physio there but was it not early to go there for exercises she told me to lift my arm outwards without moving my shoulder and also to the side i foud this very painful and very hard to do what excersies should i be doing
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied March 8th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
connolly19,

If the pain when you moved your upper extremity was at the fracture site, that means that the bone is not healed yet, it is still healing. If the pain was in the shoulder, then that means that the bone is probably healing well, but you have the joint stiffness for disuse. You could also have discomfort in both areas, which is not uncommon.

So, at 5 weeks, the bone is still probably healing. It is at that stage where the body has laid bone osteoid, to make the fracture "sticky". The osteoid is a soft, rubbery type of tissue. The body will then calcify the osteoid to make callus (new bone). Hopefully, when you have the fracture x-rayed on Monday it will show some callus formation. At first, this usually looks kind of fluffy around the fracture site.


If you are having a significant amount of pain with the lifting of the arm, try the pendulum exercises. Your physical therapist should be able to show you these. They do not place any bending moment (stress) on the fracture site, but do get the shoulder moving in all planes of motion.

The pendulum (Codman's) exercises basically are done by having you lean forward and place your good hand on a stable surface (arm of the couch, stable table, etc). Then let you arm hang free at your side, let it hang away from the body. Then gently get the arm swinging just a little side to side, front to back, around in little circles. Then gradually get the circles bigger and bigger, swinging gently back and forth, to and fro. This will get your shoulder loosened up some.

As the bone heals more you will be able to use the muscles more. That is when you can start lifting the arm, using you own muscles. At first you may want to do wall walks, which is basically using your fingers to walk up the wall. This way the arm is always supported, and not being lifted free (which puts bending stress on the bone).

Some PT departments have a pulley system, where you can use the good hand to haul up the injured arm, to work on shoulder motion. Again, this way the injured arm is supported.



As to driving, that is a very personal activity. There are some people who are quadriplegics, who can drive a modified vehicle. But, there are other people who cannot drive with a hangnail. Is also depends whether you have an automatic or stick shift.

Usually, you need to be able to control your arm well before you can drive. But, again, it is really up to you, to determine if you think that you are safe to drive. Even when the surgeon clears you to drive, it is up to you to make that determination.

If you feel safe enough to have children in the car (if you have them), to risk them with your driving, then you are probably safe. But, remember, it is not just you on the road.

Also, if you are still using a sling, brace, splint, etc and are involved in an accident, you may be cited for driving while "impaired". Even if it is not your fault. It may not be right, but it happens. There have been cases where the other people's insurance company will go after you, for being impaired. Again, it may not be right, but it is a reality.


So, again, driving is a very personal function. Some patients can drive very safely with just one hand, while others have trouble with two normal ones. Just be safe on the road.


Good luck. Hope your humerus is healing well at your next appointment. Keep working on your finger, wrist, and elbow motion. Do not let those joints get stiff.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 8th, 2012
sorry for being a puke is it safe 2 take the collar and cuff of at night and i can sleep on my sides as i have been sleeping on my back for since it happened until now
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied March 8th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
connolly19,

As long as you do not have a lot of discomfort. If you stress the fracture site, it will tell you about it.

I assume you are in a co-apt (clam shell) splint, to provide some support to the fracture.

So, as long as you are in the splint, you can probably sleep anyway you would like. If you are more comfortable lying on your side, with the injured arm up on pillows, that's fine. Again, as long as it does not hurt.

Pain is a great guide. If it hurts, back off. If it doesn't jurt, you are probably fine.


Good luck.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied March 8th, 2012
hi i have no splint or cast im just wearin a collar and cuff
|
Did you find this post helpful?

User Profile
replied March 8th, 2012
Especially eHealthy
connolly19,

That's fine, not all surgeons place their patients in a splint or brace. They are mostly for comfort anyways.

Again, as long as it does not hurt too much, then it is fine. If you are more comfortable lying on your side, with the injured arm up on pillows, that's great. If you notice that you have sharp pain at the fracture site, then you are probably stressing the fracture a tad too much. You will need to find a different position.

Pain is always a good guide. If it hurts significantly when you do something, then don't do that. No joke intended. Pain will tell you if you are doing something wrong.


So, get in a position where you are comfortable, the arm is supported, and where you can get to good night's sleep.

Good luck.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied September 17th, 2013
hi, I broke my humerus bone 5 weeks ago whilst on holiday in South Africa. I have it in a master sling and have another appointment at the fracture clinic on 27th of this month. although I am not in so much pain as I was, I cannot lift my upper arm up at all although I can move it down. I work using computers and still find it hardtop use the arm when typing. Also I wake up in the morning in quite a lot of pain as although I keep the sling on at night and start off sleeping on my back as advised, I often wake up leaning on the arm. how long will it be before I can use my arm fully again? I am female aged 60.
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied September 17th, 2013
Hi I have a 7 years old son who broke his right hid shaft humerus.they advised me to let him sleep in his back so arms will be on the side hanging.unfortunate my son can not stay all night on his back.he usually sleeps on his side.by the way he has a brace on the rt arm.will the healing process affect if he can't lie down in his back?
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied September 17th, 2013
What is an alternative position for him to sleep aside from sleeping on his back with loads of pillows so that he will be sitting upright as advised by medics.please help
|
Did you find this post helpful?

replied November 3rd, 2013
I was in Mexico last week and tripped and broke my humerus clean off the head. on the CT scan it showed that the bone was 50% aligned and not set. they chose not to reposition or use surgery as I am a cancer survivor and the chemo has compromised my bone density. I am in a arm sling and a Velcro body wrap to keep my shoulder stable. the swelling has gone down but the pain has increased - is this normal?
|
Did you find this post helpful?
Tags: arm, arm fracture
Quick Reply