Q:

How do you repair a broken humerus?

A:

Quick Answer

Most fractures of the humerus are treated using braces or casts without surgery, according to Drugs.com. However, with more severe fractures where there are multiple breaks, if the fracture leaves bone chips or when the fractured bone extends through the skin, the patient's doctor usually recommends surgery with metal implants to stabilize the upper arm.

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Full Answer

The humerus is one of the large bones in the human body and is generally resistant to fractures. It is located in the upper arm and surrounded by large muscles. However, in serious falls or auto accidents, it does sometimes break. The time for healing of humerus breaks ranges from several weeks to several months, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

According to Humpal Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine Centers, prior to removal of the cast, therapy is limited to simple finger movements and neck range-of-motion movements. After removing the cast or upon the recommendation of the surgeon, the patient usually begins physical therapy. Initially the therapy focuses on relieving pain by using ice and heat appropriately. However, it eventually moves to regaining strength and range of motion in the affected muscles.

According to Drugs.com, the prognosis for an individual to regain full use of the limb is excellent with proper treatment and rehabilitation. The best results are seen in patients under 35 years of age.

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