Proximal Humeral Fractures
Proximal humeral fractures (PHF) are common fractures of the upper extremity. They can occur in young, active patients secondary to a high energy injury such as a fall from a ladder or a high-speed motorcycle, ATV, or bicycle accident. In the older, osteoporotic patient, simple falls can lead to PHF as well as hip fractures, compressive spine fractures, and wrist fractures.
Most of these injuries can be treated with non-operative treatment by utilizing a sling and physical therapy. Displaced or unstable fractures may require open reduction and fixation with a locking plate and screws. The goal of surgery is to restore alignment of the bone with secure fixation so that early range of motion can be initiated. If the bone is severely communited (broken into fragments) or bone quality is poor, a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty may be required.