Comminuted Proximal Humerus Fracture


Bone is constantly in a state of turnover, even when not damaged or injured. We continually absorb and replace the cells that make up our bones. Because of this natural turnover, the process of healing bone also comes about quite naturally.However, in order for a fracture to heal as well as possible, a good reduction, or placement, of the bones must be attained.

  • When doctors talk about reduction or a fracture, or reducing the broken bone, they are talking about improving the alignment of the broken ends of the bone.

In most cases reducing a fracture involves placing the broken bone in a cast, often after a little pulling and tugging to achieve improved alignment. If the reduction cannot be satisfactorily achieved (meaning the alignment is either not adequate or not sufficiently stable), then a further procedure may be necessary. This usually means surgery with fixation of the bone with pins, plates, screws or rods. (from by Jonathan Cluett, MD)

Steinman pins. Anteroposterior radiograph of the shoulder shows two Steinman pins (Synthes) that transfix a comminuted proximal humerus fracture.

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