What is ORIF Surgery for a Proximal Humerus Fracture?

A proximal humerus fracture occurs when a break happens at the top of the upper arm bone (known as the proximal humerus). Though this injury can be serious, about 85% of proximal humerus fractures are eventually determined as being only minimally displaced. While it is the third most common fracture seen in the elderly population, this type of break can happen to patients of all ages – Typically due to a high-energy trauma, fall or hard-impact accident.

Our Treatment Approach

ORIF (Open Reduction Internal Fixation) surgery may be an option for those who have bone fragments that have shifted out of position as a result of their fracture. Your orthopedic surgeon will generally follow the below guidelines when performing an ORIF surgery for a proximal humerus fracture, with an overall goal of repairing the break.

  • After an I.V. is administered for anesthesia, an incision will be made on either the front or side of the arm to allow the surgeon the best access to the affected area.
  • If part of the upper arm bone has shifted, the surgeon will carefully realign the bones. A metal plate is then placed over the humerus and surgical screws are inserted to firmly hold the plate and ensure stability within the region.
  • The incision is then closed and recovery begins. Patients can expect to go through at least 3 – 4 weeks of post-operative physical therapy to regain your pre-injury strength, mobility and range of motion. The bone will take about 8 – 12 weeks to fully heal, though regular follow-ups with your surgeon to monitor your recovery will ensure optimal care.

At OrthoCARE Institute, we want to ensure that our patients remain active, pain-free and healthy through a variety of treatments designed to give them back their quality of life. Though we generally recommend non-surgical, conservative care before exploring surgical options, proximal humerus fractures can often be painful and debilitating – Sometimes necessitating surgery sooner than later.

To get in touch, please call our office at 972-573-7802 or fill out the form on our Contact Us page. We look forward to using our advanced methods to help repair your bone, joint and/or spinal issues!

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