Fractured Humerus: Treatments, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes

Fractured Humerus Overview

A fractured humerus is extremely painful, it is one of the most common injuries that can take a long time to heal. The humerus is the bone found in your upper arm and when fractured, a correct diagnosis and treatment must be set in place sooner rather than later.

You can sustain three different types of fracture to a humerus whether a proximal humerus fracture, a mid-shaft fracture or a distal fracture. All three of these injuries are extremely painful and you would need to seek medical attention without delay if you think you have suffered any of the three, The sooner your injury is correctly diagnosed and treated, the more comfortable you would be having suffered such a painful and serious arm injury.

This guide provides an overview of a fractured humerus, the symptoms associated with this type of injury together with the diagnosis and treatment. To find out more about the injury and whether you would be entitled to any free private medical care and physiotherapy aftercare that could help safely speed up your recovery, please click on the Select a Section below.

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What is the Definition of a Fractured Humerus?

Fractured humerus

Fractured humerus

A fractured humerus is an extremely painful injury that requires immediate, specialised medical care to prevent further pain and complications developing. It can take anything up to 12 weeks for the bone to mend and heal depending on the complexity and severity of your injury. If you suffered a fracture to a humerus, a doctor would prescribe adequate pain relief to help you cope with any pain and discomfort you experience while your injury is diagnosed. Your arm would also need to be placed in a robust cast during the healing process with an end goal being to keep the bone in place and to prevent any movement. Your injured arm would remain swollen and bruised for at least two weeks following an accident that left you with a fractured humerus and you may hear and/or feel the damaged bone moving around even when your arm is in a cast which although worrying, is normal.

As previously touched upon, there are three types of fractured humerus which are detailed below:

  • Proximal humerus fracture – this involves a fracture to the upper section of your humerus where the damage is nearer to your shoulder
  • A mid-shaft fracture – this involves a break in the middle of your humerus
  • A distal humerus fracture – this involves the part of your humerus that is close to your elbow and is known to be a more complex fracture

If you suffered a fractured humerus whether in a road traffic accident, due to trauma or some other incident that left you with an injured arm and would like to know if you qualify for free private medical care and physiotherapy in your area, please contact one of our health experts today, it only takes a few minutes to get a reply.

What are the Common Causes for a Fractured Humerus?

You can sustain a fractured humerus in a multitude of ways, but there are more common causes for this type of arm injury which are detailed below:

  • A fall with arms outstretched can result in mid-shaft fractures and proximal humerus fractures
  • Should you have been involved in a road traffic accident can result in you suffering a distal humerus fracture
  • A high impact collision with another person while playing sports can result in you sustaining a distal humerus fracture

With this said, you could also suffer a humerus fracture due to having weaker bones which are more susceptible to breaking even when you are carrying out normal, everyday tasks. Health conditions that can lead to you developing weaker bones include the following:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Bone cancer
  • Tumours and bone cysts
  • Infection (bone)

To find out whether you would qualify for free private treatment and free private physiotherapy aftercare having sustained a fractured humerus, please call one of our health experts today who can tell you straight away what is available in your area.

What are the Symptoms of a Fractured Humerus?

As previously mentioned, this is one of the most painful arm injuries you can sustain with fractured humerus symptoms typically including the following:

  • Extreme pain and tenderness in your injured arm
  • Bruising and swelling will occur and could last for up to 2 weeks following your initial injury
  • An inability to move your hand or arm
  • Your arm is a strange, odd shape
  • You hear the bone snap when the injury occurs
  • If you suffer an open fracture, there would be bleeding and the damaged bone might poke through the broken skin which puts you more at risk of developing an infection
  • You experience a numbness and tingling sensation in your injured arm
  • You could feel dizzy, sick or faint which can happen through shock

It is worth noting that often it can prove challenging when it comes to differentiating between a minor fracture to your humerus or a sprain, as such it is far wiser to seek medical attention and have your injury correctly diagnosed as soon as possible rather than wait a for the pain to subside.

To speak to one our health experts, please call us today and find out in minutes what free medical care and physiotherapy you may be entitled to receive in your area.

When Should I Seek Medical Attention for a Fractured Humerus?

If you suspect that you have sustained a fractured humerus, you should seek medical attention without delay by going to your nearest Accident and Emergency or by calling for an ambulance. The tips below help prevent any further damage being done to your arm until your injury can be examined by a doctor:

  • Keep your arm as still as possible by applying a sling which must go under the injured arm and then around your neck
  • Stem any bleeding by applying as much pressure as you can to an open would using a clean dressing
  • You should apply an ice pack to your injured arm – a bag of frozen vegetables in a clean tea towel works well but you should never apply any ice directly to your skin
  • Avoid eating or drinking anything just in case you need to go into surgery as soon as you are admitted to hospital

If your child has suffered a suspected fractured humerus, you should ask someone else to drive you to the Accident and Emergency department of your local hospital which allows you to focus on your injured child offering them comfort and support.

If you would like to know if you qualify for any free medical care and physiotherapy aftercare in your area, please speak one of our health experts who can tell you straight away what you might be entitled to.

How is a Fractured Humerus Diagnosed?

A doctor would thoroughly examine your injured arm and ask how you sustained the injury. They may also ask about your medical history and whether you suffer from any bone disorders like osteoporosis. You would be given pain medication to help you cope with the discomfort you experience before a series of tests are carried out to determine whether you sustained any other injuries on top of a fracture to your humerus.

Other tests that would be carried out on your injured arm include the following with an end goal being to establish a correct fractured humerus classification of your injury.

  • X-rays taken from various angles
  • CT scan

You may be entitled to free medical care for a fractured humerus and you could qualify for free medical aids which could help speed up your recovery. One of our health experts would also tell you whether you would be entitled to any free private physiotherapy in your area. Please give us a call today.

How is a Fractured Humerus Treated?

Once a doctor has determined a fractured humerus classification of you injury and established which section your humerus bone has been negatively impacted, they would then decide on a treatment as follows:

Minor fractures to humerus

  • A plaster cast or splint (removable) would be applied to your injured arm – it is worth noting that a cast or splint may not be placed on your arm straight away but rather a few days later once any swelling has subsided. A splint may be used until a doctor is ready to fit a cast to your arm
  • A sling could be used as a support for your injured arm
  • You would be prescribed pain relief medication and a doctor or nurse would instruct you on how to take care of your cast once you are at home
  • You would need to go to hospital for check ups to make sure the fracture is healing correctly

Severe fractures to a humerus

  • Any affected bones may need to be realigned which a doctor would do by manipulating them by hand – you would typically be given something to numb any pain and to make you relax whilst this is being done
  • You may need to undergo surgery to realign affected bones. This may well involve wires, screws, rods or plates being used to hold the bones in place. Occasionally, an external frame may be used to hold the bones which would then be removed when the bones have mended
  • You would have a plaster cast put on your injured arm
  • You would need to attend follow-up appointments so a doctor can check on your fractured humerus healing process

You could qualify for free private medical treatment and physiotherapy in your area. You may also be entitled to free medical aids which could help speed up your fractured humerus recovery time. Please give one of our health experts to find out what treatments are available in your area.

Are There Any Complications Associated with a Fractured Humerus?

If you sustained a fractured humerus, there are several complications associated with the specific type and complexity of the injury you sustained. These are detailed below:

  • Radial nerve damage causing numbness in an injured arm which dissipates over time but which needs to be carefully monitored to see if any further treatment is required
  • Nonunion where bones do not knit as they should which can occur following surgery due to soft tissue damage having been done which in turn compromises blood flow

To find out whether you would be entitled to any free private treatment for a fractured humerus and whether you qualify for free physiotherapy aftercare, please get in touch with one of our health experts today.

I Think the Doctor Missed Something When Diagnosing and Treating My Fractured Humerus?

If you are unhappy with the nhs fractured humerus diagnosis and treatment you received, we strongly recommend that you carry out as much research on this type of injury as possible which would help confirm any suspicions you may have. By clicking on the links at the bottom of the page, you will find valuable information relating to fractured humerus injuries.

Are There Any Long Term Health Issues Associated with a Fractured Humerus?

In the majority of cases, people recover well having sustained a fractured humerus providing the injury was correctly diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. If you respond well to your treatment and pain relief medication, you should make a full recovery without having to put up with any long-term health issues developing. With this said, a lot of people who suffer any sort of fracture are more at risk of suffering from arthritis later in life.

You could qualify for free private physiotherapy aftercare in your area if you suffered a fractured humerus. To find out whether you would be entitled to this treatment, please speak to one of our health experts today.

Could I Qualify for Free Private Fractured Humerus Treatment and Aftercare?

Fractured humerus treatment

Fractured humerus treatment

You may find that you qualify for free private medical care if you sustained a fractured humerus whether because you were involved in a road traffic accident or some other incident that left you with an arm injury. Receiving free private treatment and physiotherapy aftercare could help speed up your fractured humerus healing time and would do so safely.

To find out more about any free private treatment and aftercare you may be entitled to receive in your area, please speak to one of our health experts today.

What Type of Free Medical Care For a Fractured Humerus Could I Qualify?

There are various treatments, aftercare and medical aids that you could be entitled to having suffered a fractured humerus. This includes the following:

  • Free ice packs
  • Fractured humerus slings
  • Free private medical care in your area
  • Free private physiotherapy aftercare in your area

How Long Does a Fractured Humerus Take to Heal?

A fractured humerus healing time depends on which part of your humerus was negatively impacted, the complexity and severity of your injury and how you responded to a treatment. It also depends on whether your injury was correctly diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. The recovery time in older people tends to be longer and all too often if they suffered a proximal humeral fracture, they loss some movement in their arm even when well treated and successfully surgically corrected. With this said, receiving well thought out physiotherapy goes a long way when it comes to retaining a full range of movement.

Fractured humerus recovery time can take up to 12 months if you suffered a severe injury to your arm but your bones should knit in anything from 6 to 8 weeks following treatment or surgery providing no complications occur. In the majority of cases, a younger person would regain full function in an affected arm in around 3 months. You would typically be advised to do the following

  • Not to place any pillows under an affected elbow
  • Not to rest your arm on anything like a table or chair
  • Not to lie flat in bed
  • Not to place an affected arm in the sleeve of your clothing but to let it hang down instead

You would have to keep your injured arm in a cast until the damaged bone has knitted and the cast would only be removed when a doctor is satisfied that it is the right time to do so. Once the cast is removed, you arm would be weak due to muscle wastage which is why receiving physiotherapy is such an important part of your fractured humerus recovery time.

Call us today and find out in minutes what sort of free private medical care and free private physiotherapy aftercare in your area, one of our health experts can tell you in minutes whether you qualify.

Can I Safely Speed Up My Humerus Fracture Healing Time?

Receiving professional physiotherapy aftercare that is tailored to suit your injury during your recovery process can help speed up your healing time if you sustained a fracture to your humerus and it would do so safely. It is important to keep moving your arm and wrist, clenching your hand into a fist and stretching fingers on an affected arm to prevent the risk of further swelling and stiffness developing and a highly trained physiotherapist would ensure that you do all the right fractured humerus exercises to help you get back to normal.

To find out what free private physiotherapy aftercare you may be entitled to in your area, please speak to one of our health experts today, it only takes a few minutes.

Call Today and Find Out What Free Treatment You Could be Entitled to in Your Area

If you would like to find out whether you would be entitled to free private medical care and free private physiotherapy aftercare in your area and whether you would qualify for any free medical aids to help speed up a fractured humerus recovery time, please contact one of our health experts today. Our phone lines are open 7 days a week from 9 am to 11 pm and it only takes a few minutes to find out what treatments are available in your area. Call us today on

Helpful Links

If you suffered a serious arm injury and suspect you have a fractured humerus, the following link provides essential reading on this type of serious injury:

Information on fractures to the humerus

If you would like more information on how to care for a fractured humerus, the following link provides essential reading on this type of serious injury:

Caring for a fracture to the humerus

For more information on how to care for your cast during your fractured humerus recovery time, the following link provides valuable information on the subject:

How to take care of your cast