Distal Humerus Fracture at the Elbow
West Bridgewater Personal Injury And Motor Vehicle Accident Attorneys
The arm consists of three bones and two joints. The upper arm bone (also known as the humerus bone) connects with the two forearm bones (Radius Bone and Ulna Bone) at the elbow to form the elbow joint. The distal humerus is the bottom part of the humerus bone that connects to the top of the Ulna bone (olecranon) and the top of the radius bone (proximal radius).
The distal humerus connects with the end of the ulna bone. The end of the ulna bone is like a cup and the distal humerus kind of sits inside this cup. The ulna is able to move around the distal humerus because the end the of the ulna basically wraps around the distal humerus.
A broken distal humerus occurs when there is a fracture in the bottom end (distal region) of the humerus bone. This region is also known as the humeral head. A fractured distal humerus is a kind of elbow fracture. A fracture in one of the three bones that make-up the elbow joint will constitute an elbow fracture.
A broken distal humerus bone is somewhat rare. This type of humerus fracture occurs in children more than adults. These fractures account for less than two percent of all fractures sustained by adults. These fractures can occur alone or in tandem with other fractures in the elbow region.
Distal humerus fractures are typically caused by blunt force trauma in the form of:
- Direct Impact: The elbow can slam into a motor vehicle dashboard or door during a crash. Anyone can slip or trip and land directly on their elbow. A common reflex is to slick a hand or arm out in order to brace for a fall. Often times the elbow or forearm bears the brunt of the impact from the fall.
- Indirect Impact: The ulna bone can get driven up into the distal humerus. This happens when someone slips and falls on a hand that has been stretched out to brace for a fall. The force goes from the hand to the ulna bone in the forearm and then into the distal humerus. It is kind of like a chain reaction that stops at the distal humerus bone.
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