Shoulder fractures involve the bones that make up your shoulder joint. This can include fractures of your clavicle, scapula, or humerus. Fractures are most commonly the result of high-impact injuries such as a fall or collision that cause the bone to break. Depending on the location of the break and what type of break has occurred, surgery may be needed to stabilize the bone during the healing process.
- Sharp pain over the location of the fracture
- Difficulty moving the shoulder in any direction due to pain
- Decreased strength due to pain
- Swelling, bruising, redness, or deformity,
depending on the location of the fracture
X-rays of the shoulder will confirm the location and type of fracture that has occurred. This image will give a better picture of the course of treatment needed to ensure proper healing of the bone.
Depending on the fracture’s location and the extent of damage to the bone, immobilization and surgery are the most common courses of treatment. Sometimes fractures can be treated arthroscopically, and sometimes they must be treated with plates and screws (“open reduction and internal fixation”). After the initial stages of healing have occurred, you will need to strengthen the muscles around the immobilized joint to restore full shoulder function.