December 2021 Blog Post: A Humerus Case Study

Building Backstory 

Patient X slipped on wet stairs outside of her home, sustained a right humerus fracture by mechanism of fall on outstretched hand (FOOSH) in June 2021. Patient X fractured the proximal end of the humerus, close to the humeral head which makes up the shoulder joint (glenohumeral joint). Due to challenges healing the fracture, the patient underwent an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) in August 2021. She attended therapy services at this clinic, Ascend Hand Therapy where we have utilized multiple modes of treatment including manual techniques, therapeutic modalities (ultrasound, phototherapy, electrical stimulation) and exercises to address symptoms and regain functional motion and strength.  



Proximal Humerus Fracture

  • Often due to significant force through the humerus or object hitting the upper arm
  • Due to location and proximity to the glenohumeral joint, often shoulder stiffness occurs as well as elbow stiffness
  • Occasionally, location of the fracture site can compress or injury the axillary nerve which can affect the deltoid and teres minor which leads in several planes of motion at the shoulder, and sensation near the shoulder
  • Can be treated conservatively with an arm cuff brace or surgically if necessary
  • Surgical treatments can include but are not limited to closed reduction and percutaneous pinning, open reduction and internal fixation, intermedullary nail, shoulder arthroplasty or reverse total shoulder reconstruction
  • Following immobilization, stiffness, swelling, pain and weakness often occur


What We Do

At Ascend Hand Therapy, we utilize specialized assessment and evaluation tools to determine functional limitations after immobilization and referral by your doctor

Treatment tools include phototherapy, therapeutic ultrasound, electrical stimulation, exercise equipment to regain range of motion, strength and coordination, mirror therapy and laterality training

Proximal Humerus Fracture - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf (
Proximal Humerus Fractures - Trauma - Orthobullets
Proximal Humerus Fracture: Causes, Treatment & Recovery (

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