Shoulder fractures occur commonly after a fall on an outstretched arm. This is a serious injury that needs prompt orthopedic treatment. If you think you or your child has suffered a shoulder fracture, please see an orthopedic surgeon as soon as possible so the fracture may be treated and heal correctly.
The shoulder joint is made up of two bones; the humerus and scapula in the upper arm. The ligaments around the bones make the shoulder joint stable and protect the shoulder from injury.
If you think you have suffered a shoulder fracture, a thorough history and examination should be performed by an orthopedic specialist. Our Walk-In Anytime Ortho Orthopedic Urgent Care Clinic (link to anytime ortho page) is a convenient affordable way to get an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment without having to go through the hassle and costs of a hospital emergency room.
Shoulder fractures are diagnosed using imaging techniques such as X-rays, CT scan, or MRI. X-rays are important to determine the characteristics of the dislocation or if there is a fracture. MRI of the shoulder can identify the extent of any ligament or soft tissue injury.
Treatment options for shoulder fractures will be discussed between the patient and the orthopedic specialist. The best treatment depends on factors such as fracture type and patient age.
After the shoulder has been reduced and repaired, the shoulder is placed in a sling to allow swelling to improve. The length of time that a sling or brace needs to be used after surgery depends on the type of surgery and the stability of the fracture fragments. X-rays are taken at each office visit to monitor the position of the fracture and hardware and to monitor the healing of the bones. Therapy may be recommended to help to regain range of motion of the shoulder.
**Disclaimer: Treatment recommendations may vary depending on your true diagnosis. Always follow the recommendations of your orthopedic provider.