Proximal humerus fractures, anyone?

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4/14/2018 11:14 AM

Had a big crash, broke a bunch of stuff but this is the worst and most concerning, broken in 4 places at the top of the humerus. If anyone here has gone through this can you please PM me? I have some concerns as I’m sure you would have too. The doctors won’t say much about what I can expect in terms of successful healing. I’d feel a lot better about it if I could hear how it went for some of you, good or bad, so that I can at least try to figure out how it’s going to effect my future.


4/14/2018 11:37 AM

Welcome to PM me if you want. I broke mine in 2, and dislocated the shoulder (obviously)
Had lots of nerve damage and original prognosis was a bit bleak. Some people never regain use of the arm after this kinda injury.
I managed to forgo surgery because the ER doctor put my arm back in place, and by a miracle the 2 pieces fit together. After getting the fancy sling removed, things were pretty rough. Couldn't lift my arm at all, elbow wouldn't move, couldn't hold much of anything, even paper was difficult.
k I was in PT for 6 months going 2 to 3 times a week, insurance wouldn't pay for any more but I still needed help. Hired a personal trainer at the school who's getting a degree in physical therapy and she really helped me get back to a more normal state. She also helped me rebuild the rest of my body (something the PT wasnt concerned about)
Between the personal trainer and physical therapy I was working out every day of the week for over a year. I'm closing in on 2 years now, and am mostly back to normal. Muscle is pretty different between my 2 arms, and the range of motion isnt 100% but I'm good enough I can ride the bike, go to work and so on. I mostly notice my arms lack of strength and mobility when working on cars.
Nerve damage isnt totally gone, and I still have problems from that accident unrelated to my arm. Just the way it goes I guess.

Best advice I can give you is to listen to EVERYTHING the doctors and therapists say. They've (hopefully) seen this injury before (my er doctor hadnt)
Work out the arm every day, gym couple days a week and at home exercise every single day.
Use a couple different therapists, I found it helpful to use different people. They all do things a little different, 1 might be better at helping range of motion, the other better at building muscle, other better at helping hand eye coordination and so on.


7/12/2018 6:56 PM

Broke my humerus in 2016, I had surgery after two months of my previous Dr saying I didn’t need it. Luckily for me I got a second opinion and was operated on. I also had radial nerve palsy and that was the biggest issue for me. I couldn’t move my wrist or fingers for nearly 8 months. I have since regained some mobility but it is weak at best. My wrist has about 70% mobility due to being incapacitated for so long. I still struggle doing push-ups. I haven’t rode in nearly two years due to the injury and have a badass bike I look at everyday with .6 hrs on it. I bought it thinking it would drive me to get my strength up. But sometimes drive and determination isn’t enough. So it sits.

I’m right handed and it has been interesting training myself to use that arm again for most things. Still wipe my ass with my left hand. The day to day things you take for granted are the most challenging. It’s not a fun experience. You end up relying on people for more than your pride wants to let you. Like colintrax said. Do the physical therapy and more. See different ones and if you aren’t getting the results you want, move on to someone else. Time is your worst enemy and the sooner you can start moving and building strength the better.

Although my post isn’t very bright with all positive thoughts, it is the reality in what I dealt and am dealing with. I’ve consumed myself with other hobbies to keep me sane but miss Moto dearly.


7/12/2018 8:21 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/12/2018 8:23 PM

I broke my right humerus in 2013 Clean through right below the shoulder socket joint. Somehow didn't dislocate the shoulder but the break was so high that everyone thought it was just dislocated until the x-rays. No surgery needed, just rested in a full cast and sling.

It took me about 8 months I think give or take before I felt confident to start doing things again like actual work outs. Had mild nerve damage so things we're very tingly for a while in my hands. I don't even remember how long it took me to move my arm again for the first time. Definitely several months at least.

Today, 5 years later arm feels good minus the excess scar tissue preventing me from lifting my arm higher than my shoulder.


7/12/2018 10:33 PM

Something like this? Photo


7/13/2018 11:36 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/13/2018 11:37 PM

Here’s mine.


One of the screws is going out theough the back of the bone, it’s getting removed next week, which they may have to cut off my pec muscle to gain access to it again. Because the screw is protruding through the back I haven’t been able to do any physio yet, as if I had full mobility back it would rotate up into my shoulder socket and tear it up.

Despite this, things are feeling pretty good. It’s been over 3 months and there’s not much pain now. I get tingling/numbness in my fingers but it’s not severe. I’ve been mountain biking almost every day for the past month, riding my street bike a bit too. Being back on 2 wheels of some sort has been a huge boost for me and is keeping my spirits up. I even rode the MX bike around the yard, but there’s no way I could load it up in the back of my truck. That’s going to take a lot more healing before I have the strength or mobility to do anything like that.

Looking forward to getting this next surgery out of the way so that I can start working hard on rehab. Other than that it’s now a waiting game, the doc says it will take 6 months before we know if the bone is going to stay alive or if it’s going to die.


7/14/2018 5:21 AM

What did you guys hit to break your arm that bad?


7/14/2018 8:35 AM

kkawboy14 wrote:

What did you guys hit to break your arm that bad?

Just the ground. I went down on a 100’ tabletop in the mud, 4th gear. Also broke my sternum, 5 ribs and C7 vertebrae, I’m now 1.5” shorter than I was before, but those were just inconveniences compared to the arm. Not sure why the arm in particular got it so bad but I suppose it still could have been worse.


7/14/2018 8:59 AM
Edited Date/Time: 7/14/2018 9:01 AM

My most prized piece of hardware


I've had a lot of broken bones, tears and sprains. The PT from a proximal humerus fracture is hands down the most agonizing recovery I've ever experienced. Daily torture for 3+ months. I wouldn't wish this injury on my worst enemy.


7/14/2018 11:17 AM


I broke the bone in half across and lengthwise. The head was broken off and dislocated. The bonehead was on the nerve and caused temporary nerve damage. I was unable to lift my arm up for 3 months due to the nerve damage. I am 100 percent healed now with full movement and strength. PM me if you would like more details.

7/14/2018 12:01 PM

I didn’t PT mine with a therapist. My guys had me do it on my own. Talk about having to will yourself.
They basically told me if I wanna use my arm again then I better take my PT seriously. I don’t think I ever messed it or shorted myself the whole time.
I was told I should be happy to put my hand on top of my head. I broke the humurous and the other side of the shoulder socket. That was 2013, I have a pepper grinder for a shoulder, always fun to have people put their fingers there and feel it.
I’m sore a lot, have maybe 75% mobility, had a girl friend try to teach me some yoga stuff, the next day I told her never again.
If I twist it wrong or lay wrong it hurts badly but doesn’t pop out or anything, hard to explain that pain and discomfort really and why.

I hit a double at blue diamond in Delaware and last time anyone saw me I was totally flat in the air, guessing the ass end stepped out on me and I landed right on the point of my shoulder, almost rode the chopper thank god the ambulance got there first and I was coherent enough to talk to them.
I lost my memory of an entire lap though, I remember leaving my car and then trying to crawl on track cause my bike was at the base of a jump and I didn’t want someone to get hurt, then telling the medics my legs were fine and DO NOT cut my boots or pants off me , then it’s a blur until I woke up in the hospital again.


7/14/2018 1:11 PM

Broke mine proximal and distally 10 years ago at age 18. Sling and splint only for 8 weeks or so. I’m a physical therapist assistant now and my advice is get two opinions at least. If you have insurance that covers it or can afford it do the therapy. Ironically I wasn’t even offered it and now it’s what I do for a living. Begin shoulder and elbow Passove and active ROM as soon as your doctor allows it. Focus on the movements that hurt and that are limited.


7/14/2018 9:02 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/14/2018 9:04 PM

Did this when I was on 65s. Though less severe, just a clean break in two. Had to have my arm strapped to me for a while instead of just a regular sling or cast, which was super inconvenient.

Physical therapy afterwards was pretty painful gaining motion again but I did get back to 99% of full range motion over a relatively short amount of time, its just a little clicky and poppy when I raise my arm above shoulder height.

Best of luck!


7/14/2018 9:36 PM
Edited Date/Time: 7/14/2018 9:38 PM

I broke mine in half, no surgery just a cast for 8 weeks. I had nerve damage and my hand was basically worthless for 3 months. Take your therapy very serious is my advice.

I did it in 92 and my wrist hand and arm still ache sometimes.


7/14/2018 10:39 PM

I broke mine into 3 and dislocated it from the shoulder. I had the emt try to put it back in but it would not go. Didn’t think it was broken, just wanted it back in. First hospital wouldn’t touch it after looking at the X-rays. Got transferred to another hospital and they put it back in, about 8 hours after my crash. Saw a surgeon on Monday and had surgery the following week. I couldn’t move my fingers for 3 months. I skipped PT and did rehab myself. Movement feels fine in my hand now but my shoulder still hurts at the gym. It sucked.