Acute proximal humeral fractures in adults

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Abstract

Study Design:

Clinical commentary.

Introduction:

Proximal humeral fractures (PHF) are the third most common fracture in the elderly with an increased incidence expected in the coming years with the aging population, causing an important burden to the healthcare system. The management of PHF is challenging due to its complexity and the wide variety of fractures and treatment options.

Purpose:

The objective of this clinical commentary is to update the available evidence on clinical presentation, classification, imaging, medical treatment, and rehabilitation of acute PHF.

Methods/Results/Discussion:

N/A for clinical commentary.

Conclusions:

The first step to a successful management of PHF is the clinical and radiographic examination of the shoulder, which enables the physician to classify the fracture and choose the appropriate treatment option. The Neer and OA classifications are commonly used and are based on the identification of the fractured parts of the humerus, as well as the displacement of the fragments. In case of non-displaced or minimally displaced fractures, a conservative treatment, consisting of initial immobilization and a rehabilitation program will be chosen. Displaced or unstable fractures will be managed operatively. Different surgical options exist and will vary according to the fracture type, patient's age, and functional needs, followed by rehabilitation.

Level of Evidence:

5.

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