It is common knowledge that delayed union and nonunion occur more often in the shaft of the humerus, after fracture, than in any other long bone. This statement is, I believe, true only of fractures occurring in the middle third of the shaft, and transverse in direction. Spiral fractures that involve this region may be slow to unite, but so far I have known of no nonunions, or pseudo-arthroses. Of the following cases, three occurred in my practice and two are, fortunately for me, the misfortunes of others.
Case 1 is a report of historical interest in which a fracture of the humerus, with two subsequent refractures, went on to nonunion and complete absorption of the shaft.
My interest in this subject led me to the Warren Museum at the Harvard Medical School, where I found the specimen (fig. 1) as well as a picture of the patient before his
SEVER JW. NONUNION IN FRACTURE OF THE SHAFT OF THE HUMERUSREPORT OF FIVE CASES. JAMA. 1935;104(5):382–386. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760050028007