Please be aware, the information on this page relates to Luton & Dunstable University Hospital

S16 (Luton) – Midshaft Humerus Fracture

This is a break to the middle of your upper arm bone

About your injury:

It is important that you can always feel your hand and wiggle your fingers. If you can’t, please contact the Virtual Fracture Clinic. If it is out of hours please re-attend A&E.


This normally takes 9-12 weeks to heal.

Smoking will slow down your healing. We would advise that you stop smoking while your injury heals. Talk to your GP or go to for more information.

Pain and Swelling:

Your arm will be swollen and you will have some pain. Taking pain medication will help. You may find it more comfortable to sleep propped up at night.

Wearing your brace and sling:

Middle arm break sling demonstration

Wear your humeral brace and sling all the time, even in bed at night. Your hand can be removed from the sling to do your exercises and wash and dress. More advice about your brace is in the next section.

Exercise and activity:

It is important to start gentle exercises straight away to prevent stiffness. You will find pictures and instructions for your exercises below. You should not do any heavy lifting or overhead movement for the first 6 weeks.

Follow up:

You will receive a face to face appointment in the Fracture Clinic 2-3 weeks after your injury. If you have not received your appointment letter within 1 week please contact the Fracture clinic. If you are concerned about your symptoms, are unable to follow this rehabilitation plan or notice pain other than at your shoulder, please contact the Virtual Fracture Clinic.

Caring for your injury

Your brace should fit like this picture. This video will also help.

Brace fitting demonstration

Please contact the plaster room on 01582 491166 (ext. 2233) if you have any concerns such as pinching of skin, a rash or irritation, or difficulty washing.

Try to rest your arm, especially in the first 24-72 hours.


Start these exercises straight away. Try to do these exercises 4-5 times a day. Repeat each exercise 10 times.

Hand, wrist and elbow exercises:

Wrist exercises demonstrating rotation and flexing of the handElbow exercises demonstrating rotation and flexing

  1. Open and close your hand. Next, move you wrist up and down. Repeat 10 times.
  2. After a few days, hold a soft ball or rolled up socks. Squeeze the ball and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
  3. Bend and straighten your elbow 10 times.
  4. Bend your elbow to a right angle. Slowly turn your palm up to the ceiling and down to the ground. Repeat 10 times.

Posture Exercise:

Demonstration of pinching your shoulder blades behind you

Bring your shoulders back and gently squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

Shoulder Pendulum Exercise:

Demonstration of Shoulder Pendulum Exercise

Stand next to a firm surface. Support yourself with your un-injured arm and lean forwards. Let your injured arm relax and hang down to the ground.

Gently swing your arm, making a small movement. Try to do this forward and backward, side to side and in small circles.

Aim to do this for 1-2 minutes in total. You do not need to push into pain. Remember to keep your arm relaxed.

Frequently Asked Questions

I’m concerned about my symptoms and/or I am struggling to return to exercise

Please contact the Virtual Fracture Clinic.

I am struggling with my sling. What do I do?

Contact the Virtual Fracture Clinic. We can give advice or change your sling if needed.

When can I start driving?

You can return to driving when:

  • You are no longer using a sling
  • You can move comfortably
  • You can control the vehicle safely

Always test your ability to drive in a safe environment first.

How can I get a certificate for work?

You can self-certify for the first 7 days following your injury. For any longer periods, please discuss the provision of a fitness to work statement with the Virtual Fracture Clinic Team, the Doctor at your Fracture Clinic appointment or your GP.

Contact Details for Bedford and Luton

Please contact the hospital where you attended A&E as the other site will not be able to access your notes


How do I contact the Virtual Fracture Clinic (VFC)

How do I contact the Fracture Clinic?

  • Telephone 01234 792138

How do I contact the Plaster Room?

  • Telephone 01234 792031
  • Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (out of hours contact the Emergency Department)


How do I contact the Virtual Fracture Clinic (VFC)

  • Telephone 01582 718121
  • Messages will be checked every morning Monday to Friday (except for Bank Holidays)
  • Email

How do I contact the Fracture Clinic?

  • Telephone 01582 497194 or 01582 718 993 (outpatient appointments)

How do I contact the Plaster Room?

  • Telephone 01582 491166 (ext. 2233)
  • Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (out of hours contact the Emergency Department)