Objective: To determine effectiveness of closed functional bracing for humeral shaft fractures.
Patients: Eighty-seven patients with humeral shaft fractures.
Intervention: All patients were treated with closed functional bracing.
Main outcomes measured: Both subjective and objective criteria were measured. Objective criteria consisted of range of motion and radiographic measurements. Subjective data were recorded using the Hannover Shoulder Score.
Results: Eighty-six percent of the follow-up group showed no restrictions in the movement of their shoulder and elbow joints. On the basis of subjective criteria, 95% of the patients were content with the functional treatment, 65% claimed to be pain free in their daily activities and at work, and 35% felt pain only when doing vigorous activities or heavy physical work. Although malposition with an angulation greater than 10 degrees was observed in ten patients (12.6%), functional outcome was good or excellent in two thirds of the cases followed up.
Conclusions: When the correct indications are present, functional treatment of humeral shaft fractures has proven to be an excellent method that is both reliable and cost effective.