Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 177–183 | Cite as

Humeral shaft fractures

  • Andre R. Spiguel
  • Robert J. Steffner
Trauma (MJ Gardner, Section Editor)


Management of humeral shaft fractures has historically been largely conservative. A significant body of literature, dating back to the 1970s, has shown that functional bracing may achieve greater than 90 % union rates and acceptable functional outcomes. More recently, however, with the advent of new surgical techniques and implant options, less tolerance for acceptable deformity and functional deficits, and less patience with conservative management, many treating orthopaedic surgeons are increasingly likely to consider surgical intervention. This article reviews the current recommendations for treatment of humeral shaft fractures, including both nonoperative and operative intervention. It also discusses the current thinking and operative trends in humeral shaft fracture fixation.


Humeral shaft Fracture Anatomy Functional bracing Nonunion Surgical approaches Operative management Plate fixation Intramedullary nail Trauma Musculoskeletal 



No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Chicago Medical CenterChicagoUSA
  2. 2.University of California – Davis Medical Center, Ellison Ambulatory Care CenterSacramentoUSA

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