A fractured neck of the humerus is often caused by falling onto an outstretched hand or a direct impact to the shoulder. It is seen more often in young adults, adolescents and the elderly.
The Humerus is the bone at the top of the arm which fits into the glenoid or socket of the shoulder to form the glenohumeral joint. The neck of the humerus is at the top of the bone. A fracture is a break in the bone.
Treatment for neck of humerus fracture
Fractures with more than two fragments, those displaced more than 1 cm or associated with shoulder dislocation would most likely require an operation to assess the damage further.
A fracture which is only displaced a little may be treated conservatively, i.e. without surgery. Impacted fractures heal quickly and are supported in a broad arm sling. Displaced fractures are best treated with a collar and cuff which will allow gravity to correct any misalignment / angulation.
For the first two weeks the arm should be kept in a sling underneath clothes for additional protection. After two weeks pendular exercises of the shoulder joint can begin. From four weeks a collar and cuff can be worn outside clothes and then gradually removed in stages over the next two weeks as the arm progresses.