Shoulder Fracture

What is a shoulder fracture, and how is it treated?

Shoulder pain can originate from many different injuries, including a shoulder fracture.

Shoulder fractures can have a real impact on your quality of life, making simple everyday tasks feel nearly impossible. If you suspect you have fractured your shoulder, do not hesitate to seek assistance.

By means of a variety of treatment options, our board-certified orthopedic and sports medicine specialists at OrthoNeuro have helped thousands with shoulder fractures return to an active and healthy lifestyle.

We can do the same for you! Schedule an appointment today at one of our many convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus.

Anatomy of the Shoulder Joint

Your shoulder is composed of several bones that work together and allow your shoulder to move and function properly.

These bones include your:

  • Humerus (upper arm bone)
  • Scapula (shoulder blade)
  • Clavicle (collarbone)

What Are Shoulder Fractures?

Shoulder fractures (also known as a broken shoulder) are breaks in your shoulder bone. Shoulder fractures can significantly impact your mobility and can prove to be a great source of pain.

While fractures can happen to your clavicle, humerus, and scapula bone, clavicle fractures are the most common.

It is important to note that shoulder fractures can be displaced or non-displaced.

Non-displaced fractures occur when your bones stay in their correct position.

Displaced fractures occur when pieces of your broken bone and bone fragments have moved out of position.

Symptoms of a Shoulder Fracture

Common shoulder fracture symptoms include:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Tenderness
  • A bump or lump within your shoulder (deformity)
  • Difficulty moving your shoulder

Various Types of Shoulder Fractures and Their Specific Symptoms

There are 3 different types of shoulder fractures, and they are as follows:

  1. Clavicle Fracture
  2. Proximal Humerus Fracture
  3. Scapular Fracture

Symptoms of clavicle fractures include:

  • Sharp pain that tends to increase as you move
  • Swelling around your collarbone
  • Possible visible “bump”
  • Tenderness
  • Limited range of motion

Symptoms of a proximal humerus fracture include:

  • Severe pain
  • Severe swelling
  • Very limited range of motion
  • Tenderness

Symptoms of scapular fractures include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Severe bruising around your shoulder blade
  • Limited range of motion

What Causes a Shoulder Fracture?

Generally, clavicle or proximal humerus fractures can be caused by a direct blow experience during a collision, fall, or motor vehicle accident.

Your scapula is not as easily fractured because your chest and surrounding muscles protect it. Because of this, scapula fractures are usually caused by high-energy trauma, such as a high-speed car accident. 

Additionally, scapula fractures are often coupled with chest injuries.

Who Is At Risk of Experiencing a Shoulder Fracture?

Shoulder fractures can affect anyone because they are caused by serious traumas. Additionally, those participating in sports are at increased risk for a shoulder fracture.

Treatment Options For a Fractured Shoulder Bone

Your individualized treatment will be based on several factors, including the location of your fracture and whether the fracture is non-displaced or displaced. 

Thankfully, non-displaced fractures are the most common and can be treated without surgery.

To ensure the best treatment for your needs, our board-certified orthopedic shoulder and sports medicine specialists at OrthoNeuro offer a variety of treatment options.

You may find it comforting to know that, in many cases, the shoulder can be treated without surgery. 

If nonsurgical treatment is recommended by your specialist, your shoulder will be placed in a sling or shoulder immobilizer for several weeks while your shoulder bones heal and return to their correct position. 

Physical therapy is usually a key component of this treatment plan.

In other cases, your OrthoNeuro specialist may see the need for a surgical procedure to be performed.

Physical therapy is typically recommended after your procedure is completed. In severe cases, a shoulder replacement may be more beneficial for elderly patients.

Possible Surgical Risks That Can Be Associated With Shoulder Fractures

As with any surgical procedure, while rare, there can be some risks.

These surgical risks include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Nerve damage
  • A chance the bone doesn’t heal

How Can a Shoulder Fracture Be Prevented?

Sometimes due to circumstances beyond your control, a shoulder fracture cannot be prevented.

However, there are some precautionary steps that you can take to avoid experiencing a shoulder fracture, and these include:

  • Maintaining healthy bones
  • Staying proactive and vigilant during activities to minimize your chances of falling
  • Using proper technique and protective equipment when participating in sports

Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Shoulder Specialist Today!

If you suspect you have a shoulder fracture, schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified orthopedic and sports medicine specialists at one of our many convenient locations throughout Columbus, OH.

By doing so, you can receive the proper treatment that can help you return to the lifestyle that you love!

Shoulder Specialists

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