In this section
See also: Humeral shaft fractures - Emergency Department
Table 1: Recommended follow-up schedule for humeral shaft fractures.
Subsequent review appointments
Discharge advice to parents
Midshaft humeral - non-comminuted
At 1 week post-injury with x-ray
At 3 weeks post-injury with x-ray
Basic hanging of the fracture is usually enough in the first 2 weeks. Functional bracing may be required to facilitate activity and function
6 weeks post-injury. Clinical examination
Excellent outcome is expected
Physiotherapy is not usually required
Midshaft humeral - comminuted
At 2 weeks post-injury with x-ray
At 4 weeks post-injury. Clinical examination
At 6 weeks post-injury. Clinical examination
Check for pain and position of collar and cuff.
Assess and document neurovascular status.
Assess need for bracing to support fracture and allow more hand function.
Check x-ray for stability of union to determine timing of active mobilisation.
Delayed radiographic union - greater than 8 weeks.
Neurological deficit - needs to be carefully assessed and monitored.
Clinical union (defined by no pain/tenderness or movement at fracture site) in an appropriate time frame (6-8 weeks).
Radiographic union if follow-up x-rays are taken.
No residual neurological deficit.
Hunter JB. Fractures around the shoulder and humerus. In Children's Orthopaedics and Fractures,3rd Ed. Benson M, Fixsen J, Macnicol M, Parsch K (Eds). Springer, London 2010. p.717-30.
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