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Midshaft Humerus Fractures Workup

  • Author: Matthew Lawless, MD; Chief Editor: Harris Gellman, MD  more...
Updated: Jul 19, 2016

Imaging Studies

Anteroposterior and lateral radiographs should be obtained first. These should be taken at 90º angles to each other. To obtain these radiographs, move the patient rather than rotate the injured limb through the fracture site. The shoulder and elbow should be included on each radiograph. Traction radiographs may be helpful with comminuted or severely displaced fractures, and comparison radiographs of the contralateral side may be helpful for determining preoperative length.[2, 1] (See the image below.)

Diaphyseal humerus fracture. Diaphyseal humerus fracture.

Computed tomography (CT) is rarely indicated.[2]

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Matthew Lawless, MD Assistant Professor of Orthopedic Surgery, Wright State University School of Medicine; Consulting Surgeon, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Miami Valley Hospital and Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Matthew Lawless, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Michael Yaszemski, MD, PhD Associate Professor, Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Bioengineering, Mayo Foundation, Mayo Medical School

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Harris Gellman, MD Consulting Surgeon, Broward Hand Center; Voluntary Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery and Plastic Surgery, Departments of Orthopedic Surgery and Surgery, University of Miami, Leonard M Miller School of Medicine, Clinical Professor, Surgery, Nova Southeastern School of Medicine

Harris Gellman, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Medical Acupuncture, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Orthopaedic Association, American Society for Surgery of the Hand, Arkansas Medical Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Michael S Clarke, MD Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine

Michael S Clarke, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, Arthroscopy Association of North America, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association for Hand Surgery, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, Clinical Orthopaedic Society, Mid-Central States Orthopaedic Society, Missouri State Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Diaphyseal humerus fracture.
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