Case Study: Fractured Humerus
Date of Submission:
Karen is a 63 year old female at 5’ 2” weighing 175 lbs. On February 15, 2013 as Karen was leaving her home in the Midwest she stepped on a section of black ice and immediately her legs were swept out from under her and before she had no time to react and was thrown onto the ice with such force that it fractured her left humerus proximal to the insertion point of shoulder socket. Karen landed on her left shoulder and could not move, she was alone, after calling for help and no response Karen slid, drug, and crawled her body back into the house to call for help. Karen was picked up by the ambulance and taken to the local hospital.
Assessment and Treatment
At the hospital Karen was seen by the doctor on duty and the initial assessment was with much concern since at the time she was in such pain the doctor chose to apply a weighted cast and have her return in two days for a follow up. The follow up visit was also to determine further if Karen had a fracture requiring surgery or if the cast would remain for six to eight weeks. X-rays were taken and the doctor felt confident to leave the weighted cast on as this would be the best course of action in Karen’s recovery. While at the hospital Karen had also voiced complications with the cast that the swelling had gotten so bad that it was cutting off circulation and she was very uncomfortable. The doctors cut the cast under her arm and around fingers to help relive tension. On the sixth week after injury cast was removed and Karen was to begin physical therapy. At first the main purpose of physical therapy with Karen’s type of injury (proximal humerus fracture) is to regain passive motion of the glenohumeral (shoulder) joint. In the beginning caution should be taken against being too eager to start active motion such as forward elevation and abduction. For this type of injury it would...
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