Causes and Treatment of Neck Fracture in Older Adults

Causes and Treatment of Neck Fracture in Older Adults

Between the elbow and shoulder girdle, there is a tubular bone, called the humeral bone. It consists of three sections: the middle section — the diaphysis; the upper and lower sections — the epiphyses. Between the epiphyses and diaphysis emit transitional parts – metaphysis. The upper end of the humerus is spherical. This is the articular head. The narrowing of the bone under the articular head is called the neck of the shoulder. However, fractures in this zone are extremely rare. Fractures are more prone to the area of the bone, which is below the neck of the shoulder, under the large and small tubercles (to which the tendons are attached), called the surgical neck of the shoulder. Find a 2020 supplement plan at

Fractures of the bone in both zones show the same symptoms. Thus, they are united in one group, which bears the name – fractures of the surgical neck of the shoulder.

Indirect shoulder injury (falling on an outstretched arm, elbow, hand) is the most common cause of a neck fracture in the elderly. There is a possibility of similar injuries as a result of direct physical exposure (hit on the shoulder from behind or in front), but the probability of such cases is much lower. The main risk group for a neck fracture is elderly women, which is explained by specific age-related changes in the female body.

Some of these include: osteoporosis and other disorders of the bone structure as a result of climacteric changes in the woman’s body; the degeneration of the metaphysis of the shoulder (increasing the volume of the cavity where the bone marrow is located, by reducing the thickness of the bone wall), resulting from a lack of bone protein in the body.

There are other factors that trigger a fracture of the neck of the shoulder. Among them are the following:

bone tuberculosis;

tumor diseases, metastases;


Any of the above may lead to a fracture even with a slight load on the shoulder.

Treatment: When treating such fractures in older people, surgery is required only in a small percentage of cases. Rehabilitation then takes place in the long term.

During treatment, additional drugs can be prescribed, mainly with calcium content, which improves blood circulation and helps speed up the process of bone accretion. The duration of rehabilitation is determined by how sick the patient feels, how active he/she is. Depending on the condition of the patient, the recovery period may increase significantly.

Medigap coverage for senior citizens over 65: Medicare supplement plans help cover costs including but not limited to co-pay, co-insurance, etc.