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81 year old with broken arm below the shoulder joint. No surgery suggested due to heart problem. On morphine. what else to do?

after a fall, my sister broke her left arm right below the shoulder socket. was admitted to hospital in pgh, but they are not going to do anything(she s 81 & has a heart issue...fibrilation). She is in so much pain so she is medicated with morphine and not able to eat. Moved her to nursing skilled care in new castle pa. Do you think anything can be done by surgery?
Asked On : Mon, 1 Apr 2013
Answers:  2 Views:  35
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello Madam, at your sister's age, such fractures are quite frequent because the strength of her bones is no more the same as when she was young. this has to do with her hormones and menopause. she is lucky it as not the hip. unfortunately her heart problem makes it difficult because she may not be able to support anesthesia for long. my advice is for her to take those pain killers for now, while her heart conditon is looked into. it will not be prudent to insist on surgery until her cardiologist has seen her and given the go ahead. have a nice day
Answered: Sun, 7 Jul 2013
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad's  Response
Jul 2013
Hi, thanks for writing to HCM.
Taking into consideration the patients age and her comorbid medical conditions, its worth attempting conservative line of management rather than going for surgery (which may be very risky and at times may land in life threatening complications).
As her physical demands will be very less, I think the fracture can be effectively managed by POP cast which gives promising results. The fracture will generally unite within 12-16 weeks in plaster cast.
Hope this helps
Answered: Sun, 7 Jul 2013
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