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Case Reports in Orthopedics
Volume 2013, Article ID 546804, 5 pages
Case Report

Humeral Shaft Fracture Treatment in the Elite Throwing Athlete: A Unique Application of Flexible Intramedullary Nailing

1Stetson Powell Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, 191 S. Buena Vista Street, Suite 470, Burbank, CA 91505, USA
2Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, 179 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA
3Section of Sports Medicine, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Scripps Clinic Medical Group, 10666 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA

Received 6 September 2013; Accepted 23 October 2013

Academic Editors: R. A. Gosselin and J. Mayr

Copyright © 2013 Christopher S. Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Humeral shaft stress fractures are being increasingly recognized as injuries that can significantly impact throwing mechanics if residual malalignment exists. While minimally displaced and angulated injuries are treated nonoperatively in a fracture brace, the management of significantly displaced humeral shaft fractures in the throwing athlete is less clear. Currently described techniques such as open reduction and internal fixation with plate osteosynthesis and rigid antegrade/retrograde locked intramedullary nailing have significant morbidity due to soft tissue dissection and damage. We present a case report of a high-level baseball pitcher whose significantly displaced humeral shaft stress fracture failed to be nonoperatively managed and was subsequently treated successfully with unlocked, retrograde flexible intramedullary nailing. The athlete was able to return to pitching baseball in one year and is currently pitching in Major League Baseball. We were able to recently collect 10-year follow-up data.