Authors of section


Martin Jaeger, Frankie Leung, Wilson Li

Executive Editors

Peter Trafton

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Isolated anatomical neck, dislocation

In these fractures the tuberosities are not involved. They require reduction as soon as possible. Open reduction is often necessary.

These fractures involve a glenohumeral dislocation (head fragment displaced from glenoid fossa). An anterior dislocation is much more common than posterior. The risk of avascular necrosis is significantly increased by the combination of a dislocation with a fracture that devascularizes a small humeral head fragment or is comminuted. Although these fractures do not necessarily pass through the articular surface, they are termed “articular fractures”; the articular surface is detached from both tuberosities and/or fractured itself.

Isolated anatomical neck fracture with glenohumeral dislocation
Isolated anatomical neck fracture with glenohumeral dislocation

Humeral head impaction

Impaction of the humeral head is a feature of some of these fractures. Impaction injuries should be identified and respected. Treatment protocols for these rare injuries remain to be developed.

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