Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery

, Volume 108, Issue 5, pp 285–287 | Cite as

The epidemiology of fractures of the proximal humerus

  • T. Lind
  • K. Krøner
  • J. Jensen
Original Articles


Sevenhundred and thirty proximal humeral fractures, taken from a 5-year period, were entered in this study. We found a higher total incidence rate than that previously seen: 73/100000 population. Twenty-nine percent of the patients required hospitalization; 75% of these were over 60 years old. Only 21% of these were operated on, the majority of admissions being for social reasons. A total of 583 bed-days were used each year in the Aarhus City area (250000 inhabitants). The majority of fractures resulted from falls on level ground. The elderly fell at home, while the younger people fell in public areas. Traffic accidents and work accidents were seldom seen. The accidents occurred typically around midday and before midnight, and mostly in December and January. Half of the fractures were two-part fractures of the surgical neck, while fractures of the greater tubercle and threepart fractures accounted for 21% and 17%, respectively. Based on current developments in the population average life span, it can be expected that proximal fractures will increase the hospital workload significantly in the future.


Young People Level Ground Average Life Traffic Accident Humeral Fracture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Buhr AJ, Cooke AM (1959) Fracture patterns. Lancet 531–536Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    The Danish Statistics Institute (1986) Statistic information, no. 16, pp 3–5Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Frandsen P, Kruse T (1983) Hip fractures in the county of Funen, Denmark. Acta Orthop Scand 54:681–686Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Horak J, Nilsson BE (1975) Epidemiology of fractures of the upper end of the humerus. Clin Orthop 112:250–253Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kjær T, Larsen CF, Blicher J (1986) Proximal humeral fractures. Ugeskr Læger 148:1894–1897Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Knowleden J, Buhr AJ, Dunbar O (1984) Incidence of fractures in persons over 35 years. Br J Prev Soc Med 18:130–141Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kristiansen B, Barfod G, Bredesen J, Erin-Madsen J, Grum B, Horsnaes M, Aalberg J (1987) Epidemiology of proximal humeral fractures. Acta Orthop Scand 58:75–77Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Leyshon RL (1984) Closed treatment of fractures of the proximal humerus. Acta Orthop Scand 55:48–51Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lucht U (1971) A prospective study of accidental falls and resulting injuries in the home among elderly people. Acta Sociomed Scand 2:105–120Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Merrild U, Bak S (1983) An excess of pedestrian injuries in icy conditions. Accid Anal Prev 15:41–48Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Neer CS (1970) Displaced proximal humeral fractures. J Bone Joint Surg [Am] 52:1077–1089Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Rose SH, Melton LJ, Morrey BF, Ilstrup DM, Riggs BL (1982) Epidemiologic features of humeral fractures. Clin Orthop 168:24–30Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Lind
    • 1
  • K. Krøner
    • 2
  • J. Jensen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryAarhus County HospitalAarhusDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryAarhus Municipal HospitalAarhusDenmark

Personalised recommendations