Shoulder Fracture (Humerus Fracture) in Singapore
If you recently suffered trauma to your shoulder, you may have a fracture in any of the three bones that make up the shoulder: the scapula (shoulder blade), clavicle (collarbone), or humerus (upper arm bone).
The most common type of shoulder fracture is a break in the bone that connects your shoulder blade to your upper arm (humerus). It often requires humerus fracture surgery to repair the break. If left untreated, it may result in permanent damage to the arm.
To understand this fracture, you need to know what it is, the two types of humerus fractures involved, the risk factors, and the recommended humerus fracture treatment available in Singapore.
What is a Humerus Fracture?
A humerus fracture is a break in the bone that makes up the upper arm. It can happen when someone falls on their shoulder or elbow, and it can also occur when someone falls on their outstretched hand.
That said, the break can either be a closed or open one. A closed fracture is where the bone breaks but does not puncture the skin. An open fracture is when there is a break in the skin, and broken bone fragments are visible outside of the body.
Types of Humerus Fracture
There are two types of humerus fractures based on the location of the break:
- Proximal Humerus Fracture – A proximal humerus fracture is a break close to the shoulder joint – the top end of the upper arm bone that connects to your shoulder.
- Humerus Shaft Fracture – A humerus shaft fracture is localised at the mid-portion of the upper arm bone.
What Causes Humerus Fracture?
A fracture in the humerus in Singapore is usually caused by direct trauma to the arm, such as being hit by an object. For instance, falling on an outstretched arm can cause a humerus shaft fracture or a proximal humerus fracture.
Humerus fractures can also happen due to a condition that weakens your bones, leaving them more vulnerable to breaks from your daily activities that wouldn’t usually cause injuries. This includes osteoporosis, bone cancer, cysts or tumours, or bone infection.
Symptoms and Signs of Humerus Fracture
The symptoms and signs of a humerus fracture typically vary depending on the type of fracture. But, they may include:
- Pain around your shoulder joint
- Swelling and bruising around the injured arm
- Inability to move the shoulder
- Occasional bleeding (open fracture)
- Tenderness around the injured area
You might also lose function in the injured arm if there is a nerve injury, as your median, ulnar, and radial nerves are all connected to your humerus. If you experience any of these symptoms or signs, it is crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Risk Factors for Humerus Fracture
There are many risk factors that can lead to humerus fracture. Some of the common risk factors include:
- Age – The fracture risk increases with age, especially after 60 years old, as bones become more brittle and break more easily.
- Sex – Females are more likely to get fractures than males because they have less muscle strength and lower bone mineral density.
- Bone quality – Patients with osteoporosis have an increased risk of humerus fracture because their bones are thinner and more brittle.
- Body weight – Patients who weigh less than their average weight have a higher risk of fracture because they will be unable to bear the impact.
- Medications – Certain medications, like corticosteroids, can increase bone fragility.
Recommended Treatment for Humerus Fracture
The treatment for a humerus fracture in Singapore will vary depending on the severity of the injury and type of fracture. The patient may be treated with a sling and pain medication for a mild fracture, whereas for moderate fractures, the doctor may use pins to stabilise the bone.
Meanwhile, a humerus fracture surgery may be necessary for severe fractures to realign and stabilise the bone. This usually involves the fixation of the fracture fragments with plates, screws, or pins. Severe fractures with the previous arthroscopy may require shoulder replacement, followed by rehabilitation to restore muscle strength, joint motion, and flexibility.
Get Treated For Your Shoulder Fracture
At Spire Orthopaedic Centre, everyone should be cared for and healed holistically in comfort without travelling to different locations to seek medical and surgical help and rehabilitation support.
With a combined facility for collaboration between physicians, physiotherapists, and surgeons, you will experience a seamless service from diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation tailored just for you at our clinic.