Earlier this past week my mother-in-law called to report that she had fallen down while on her morning walk. She said she simply caught her toe on an uneven walkway and fell to the ground. After falling, she noted that her shoulder was a little sore, but she continued on her walk and completed her 4 mile route.
After returning home, my mother-in-law said that she felt quite a bit of shoulder pain. After resting for a few hours, she called her doctor and was asked to go into his office so he could check her shoulder and make sure everything was allright.
Upon arriving at her doctor's office an x-ray was taken, and the results indicated that she suffered a proximal humeral fracture. She was placed in a sling and sent to see an orthopedic specialist. The orthopedist noted that the fracture appeared well placed, and reduction via surgery was not necessary. She would just have to be in the sling for the next 10 days, at which time a reassesment would be performed to ensure that proper healing is taking place.
My mother-in-law has experienced two fractures in the past year-last year she fell off a truck (mine) and suffered a Colles' fracture. I guess it is true that the greatest predictor of falls in older people is a history of falls.