Spiral Fracture of Humerus: Signs, Treatments & Prevention

The humerus is a long bone that runs from your shoulder joint to your elbow joint. You cannot lift something heavy if that bone is not strong enough. It is actually the third biggest bone in the body, after the thighbone (femur) and the shinbone (tibia). Your humerus needs to be in a good condition and fully functional to allow you to use your elbow. Certain injuries can affect the way your humerus functions and that is truly the case when you have a spiral fracture with your humerus.

Signs of Spiral Fracture of Humerus

You may develop a spiral fracture pattern in the humerus due to some twisting injuries. You develop it in the shaft of the humerus when you lock your lower arm or have it trapped in machinery while the body rotates. Similarly, direct twisting forces applied during arm wrestling or throwing may also cause a spiral fracture in humerus.

If you have developed a spiral fracture, humerus will sure suffer and several symptoms will occur.

You may have to deal with certain symptoms of tenderness, pain, bruising, swelling, and pain in the arm even after you start receiving treatment to stabilize the fracture. This is usually the result of the injury around the broken bone. While your symptoms may improve after a few weeks, you should seek medical attention if you develop numbness in the affected area.

Treatment for Spiral Fracture of Humerus

You do not usually need any surgery to treat a spiral fracture in humerus. You have to wear a special splint to keep your arm in a cast to minimize movement. An open fracture may require surgery though – your doctor will repair the humerus with screws, plates, or a metal rod. You also need to take antibiotics intravenously when you have an open fracture.

It is important to receive physical therapy after your humerus starts to heal. Your physical therapist helps improve strength in your arm muscles and works to restore normal range of motion in your shoulder and elbow. You have to work with your therapists for several months to ensure proper recovery.

Possible Complications with Sustained Humerus Fracture

When you develop a spiral fracture of humerus, the chances are you will recover without any surgery or serious medical intervention. Most people recover near normal function within a few weeks, but certain complications may arise. Some of the most possible complications of humerus fractures include the following:

How to Prevent Humerus Fracture

A broken arm may well be the result of an unexpected accident. However, you can always take precautionary measures to lower your risk of developing a spiral fracture of humerus. For instance:

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