Proximal Humerus Fracture (greater tuberosity, mild displacement)

September 11, 2020, 8:08 PM · Not asking for medical advice as that would be ridiculous, however, I tripped and fell the other day. Landed on my chest but my left arm was outstretched; impacted and hyper-extended arm upwards towards face. Breaking the upper Humerus (greater tuberocity) and dislocating the shoulder in the process.

All is back in place and bone is still healing (it's been about two weeks in an immobilizer sling). Does anyone have personal experience with this kind of injury and what was your journey to recovery like (I'm a Violinist)?

Replies (5)

September 12, 2020, 9:17 AM · Hello Joshua, I don't, and I don't know if any others here would have much useful advice or experience to share. The advice that I have is that a second injury can be much worse than the first, and that you should give your shoulder all the time it needs to recover, and perhaps engage others, such as physiotherapists and musician injury therapists towards that end later on.

In the meanwhile, welcome, and we'd all be interested to hear your thoughts on, say, digital rosin.

September 12, 2020, 10:26 AM · Sorry to hear about your accident.

I can't speak to your particular injury, but a suggestion to keep in mind after you are whole again is to watch for pain, not only your arm or shoulder but in other parts of your body as well, even if it seems unrelated.

Very often after an injury the body becomes subtly (or not so subtly) misaligned. This causes other joints in the body to also become misaligned as they try to compensate.

An example from the Egoscue method is so-called "tennis elbow." A person who walks toed-out or pronated has a torqued ankle and knee which leads to misaligned hips. This causes back pain which in turn causes him to round his shoulders forward as he tenses up. The pain in the elbow and forearm is caused by the rounded shoulder caused by the hips caused by the feet. Straighten out the walk and everything straightens out above. If arthritis hasn't set in yet, the pain in the elbow goes away.

As you recover, if you find you have some residual pain or new pain in another part of your body, you might want to focus on general body alignment and overall movement. Feldenkrais Method, Alexander Method or (my favorite) Egoscue Method can help you straighten out and recover your full range of motion, unhindered.

Good luck!

Edited: September 12, 2020, 1:53 PM · Joshua at the end of November 2019 I also broke my greater tuberocity. It was not dislocated too much, so the bone could heal without need for surgery (i.e., screws, plates, what have you, were not needed). I was in an immobilizing sling for 6-7 weeks. After that they diagnosed that my bone had healed well. But...now I had a "frozen shoulder" (this is very normal actually). This took me some three months of physical therapy to get that shoulder loose again. But it all panned out fine and five months after the accident I could play the violin again (but, definitely, not before! at some point I really thought I would never be able to play the violin again!) So, don't be discouraged if you come out of your sling with a frozen shoulder, and don't, in a panic, go to these special frozen shoulder miracle doctors. Just follow the standard treatment by a classical established physio-therapist. All the best!
September 13, 2020, 3:30 PM · Joshua,

You will recover. The most important things are to listen to and follow the advice of the physical therapists. Also keep reminding them that you are a violinist. At some point they will want you to bring the violin to therapy sessions. You might need to change things like the SR (assuming you use one now) and CR because your hold will be different.

I managed to break and dislocate my clavicle in a bicycling accident and ever since I now use an SR - never needed it before but the post healing changes required that I use one.

September 13, 2020, 6:17 PM · I've fractured my humeral head in a bicycle accident–also, thankfully, my left shoulder. I gather this is not uncommon. Although it wasn't dislocated and didn't require surgery, I did experience a frozen shoulder. I couldn't lift my arm high enough to ride my road bike for several months post-accident and I ended up doing over a year of physical therapy (which was, thankfully, covered by insurance). I did ultimately regain something like 95% of my range of motion.

I haven't discerned any long-term effect on playing, fortunately. It does get sore from time to time, even 15 years later, and I think ongoing attention to shoulder strength can be a good thing as long as you know what you're doing (e.g. are working with a PT or knowledgeable trainer).

I'm sorry this happened! Sending you best wishes for smooth healing. Be sure to find a good physical therapist if possible. It makes a huge difference.

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