Source: British Journal of Hospital Medicine (17508460); Mar 2018; vol. 79 (no. 3); p. 148-150
Publication Date: Mar 2018
Publication Type(s): Academic Journal
Available at British Journal of Hospital Medicine (17508460) - from MAG Online Library
Abstract:The incidence of fragility fractures of the humerus is increasing worldwide. Although clinicians are aware of fractures of hips and wrists, fractures of the shoulder and elbow do not receive much attention. A considerable proportion of the elderly population (estimated at 10-24%) is dependent on walking aids. A well-functioning and pain-free shoulder and elbow is essential for use of these aids. The impact of loss of mobility in the elderly is well known, hence the overall impact of these fractures on the individual can be considerable. This article increases the awareness of these fractures among non-orthopaedic colleagues and provides a brief outline of their management. In the elderly population using walking aids, the shoulder and elbow are effectively weightbearing joints. Fractures of the shoulder or elbow in the elderly require extra attention to maintain their mobility during this period by physiotherapy to the lower limbs and chest. In patients who mobilize using a frame, the use of a stick on the opposite side of the injury may have to be considered while recovery is in progress.