The humerus makes up the “ball” of the “ball and socket” shoulder joint. A humerus fracture can occur from a fall directly on the shoulder or arm. This injury is common in both the elderly population with low impact falls, as well as the younger population with high impact injuries from activities like mountain biking and riding a motorcycle. A proximal humerus fracture is the most common type of fracture and makes up the third most common fracture in geriatrics.Dr. Eichinger headshot

MUSC shoulder and elbow surgeon Dr. Josef Eichinger explored the controversy on treating the “unreconstructable” proximal humerus fracture at the Southeastern Fracture Symposium this past month. While hemiarthroplasty is an option, Dr. Eichinger discussed that reverse total shoulder arthroplasty is the superior treatment for these severe fractures. With better range of motion and patient outcome scores from multiple studies, the literature confirms that reverse total shoulder is the better option if you are suffering from this type of injury.

The reverse total shoulder replacement reverses the anatomical design of the shoulder, placing the socket on the humerus and the prosthetic ball on the glenoid. This allows for better range of motion without an increased risk of dislocation. Combining this innovative shoulder replacement with a complete anatomical repair of the tuberosities, the MUSC Health Shoulder and Elbow service ensures you and your shoulder receive the best treatment and can get back to your daily life.