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April 21, 2015  
EDUCATION CENTER: Clinical Overview

Clinical Overview
Symptoms Take Action Diagnosis and Treatment

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  • Broken Humerus

    Clinical Overview
    Reviewed by Dr. Ken Alleyne

    The humerus, or upper-arm bone, is one of the most commonly broken bones in both children under 12 and adults over 60. A break in the bone most often happens in the shaft of the bone, in the area between the shoulder joint and the elbow. However, a hard fall on an outstretched hand can cause a fracture in the proximal humerus, the area where the bone meets the shoulder joint. Fractures of the humerus represent about 4 to 5 percent of all fractures.

    Causes and Risk Factors
    A direct blow to the arm or a fall on an outstretched hand are the most common causes of a fractured humerus. Degenerative bone diseases such as osteoarthritis or a lack of calcium raise the risk of suffering a broken arm from a fall.

    Risk Factors
    Age over 60, obesity, low bone density, and contact sports such as football or hockey heighten the likelihood of a fractured humerus.

    Last updated: Jan-01-00


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