Humerus fracture

Physiotherapy Treatment of Post ORIF Humerus fracture

Humerus fracture
Humerus fracture

Understanding the Proximal Humerus Fracture

Injuries to the proximal humerus can be painful and debilitating, affecting one’s ability to perform even the simplest daily tasks. When a fracture occurs, especially one requiring an Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF) procedure, comprehensive rehabilitation is essential for a successful recovery.

proximal humerus fracture type of injury typically affects the upper part of the arm bone, just below the shoulder joint. It can result from various causes, including falls, sports injuries, or accidents. Depending on the severity of the fracture, surgical intervention, such as an ORIF procedure, may be required to realign and stabilize the fractured bone fragments.

The ORIF Procedure

Open Reduction Internal Fixation, commonly known as ORIF, involves the surgical placement of hardware like plates, screws, or pins to hold the fractured bones in place. While this procedure is crucial for the initial treatment of proximal humerus fractures, it’s only the beginning of the recovery journey.

The Role of Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy plays a pivotal role in the rehabilitation process after an ORIF. Here’s a breakdown of how physiotherapy helps patients regain function and mobility:

1. Pain Management

Addressing post-operative pain through various modalities, including ice, heat, and gentle exercises.

2. Range of Motion Exercises

Gradually introduce a range of motion exercises to prevent joint stiffness and maintain flexibility in the shoulder.

3. Strengthening Exercises

Implementing a tailored exercise program to rebuild strength in the affected arm and shoulder muscles.

4. Functional Activities

Teaching patients how to perform everyday tasks with limited mobility, ensuring they can regain independence.

5. Postural Training

Correcting posture issues that may arise due to the injury, surgery, or prolonged immobilization.

The Rehabilitation Process

Recovery from a proximal humerus fracture is a gradual process that requires patience and commitment from both the patient and the physiotherapist. Typically, the rehabilitation process follows these stages:

Stage 1: Immediate Post-Op Care (Weeks 1-2)

Focusing on pain management and gentle passive range of motion exercises.

Stage 2: Regaining Mobility (Weeks 3-6)

Introducing an active range of motion exercises to improve shoulder flexibility.

Stage 3: Rebuilding Strength (Weeks 7-12)

Implementing resistance exercises to regain muscle strength.

Stage 4: Functional Recovery (Weeks 13+)

Practicing functional activities like lifting, reaching, and overhead movements.

Benefits of Physiotherapy

Engaging in a structured physiotherapy program offers numerous benefits for patients recovering from an ORIF of a proximal humerus fracture:

  • Pain Reduction: Physiotherapy techniques can alleviate pain, reducing the need for pain medications.
  • Improved Functionality: Patients regain the ability to perform daily tasks and return to their regular routines.
  • Enhanced Quality of Life: Regaining mobility and strength leads to a better overall quality of life.
  • Prevention of Complications: Physiotherapy helps prevent complications such as frozen shoulder and muscle atrophy.
  • Personalized Care: Each patient’s rehabilitation plan is tailored to their specific needs and progress.


In the journey towards recovery after an ORIF procedure for a proximal humerus fracture, physiotherapy is a vital component. With the guidance of skilled physiotherapists, patients can regain their independence and return to their normal lives, free from pain and limitations.


1. How long does physiotherapy treatment typically last after an ORIF of a proximal humerus fracture?

The duration of treatment varies but can range from several weeks to several months, depending on the individual’s progress.

2. Is physiotherapy painful?

Physiotherapy should not be painful. Therapists aim to minimize discomfort while promoting healing and recovery.

3. Can I perform physiotherapy exercises at home?

Some exercises can be done at home, but it’s essential to work closely with a physiotherapist to ensure proper technique and progress.

4. Are there any risks associated with physiotherapy after ORIF surgery?

When performed by a qualified professional, physiotherapy is generally safe. However, there may be some mild discomfort during exercises.

5. What should I do if I experience persistent pain during physiotherapy?

If you experience persistent pain during physiotherapy, it’s essential to communicate with your physiotherapist to adjust your treatment plan accordingly.


Proximal humerus fracture, ORIF surgery, Shoulder fracture, Orthopedic surgery, Rehabilitation, Surgical procedure, Bone fixation, Fracture healing, Post-operative care, Physical therapy, Range of motion, Immobilization, Complications, Pain management, Shoulder mobility, Rehabilitation exercises, X-ray follow-up, Healing process, Functional recovery, Surgeon’s instructions, Arm strength, Sling or brace, Surgical complications, Scapular function, Radiographic evaluation.

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