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Sai Institute of Sports Injury

Shoulder Trauma

Broken Shoulder Treatment

Treatment Options for Fractures Around Shoulder

Shoulder fractures usually occur due to fall on shoulder, road traffic accidents and contact sports etc.

Shoulder is a complex joint connecting arm to the body. The shoulder bones include the humerus (upper arm bone), the scapula (shoulder blade) and the clavicle (collarbone) .The upper end of the humerus is ball shaped that connects with the socket of the scapula, called the glenoid. Fractures to any of the above mentioned bones can cause severe pain and difficulty in shoulder movements.

Types of Shoulder Fractures

The type of fracture varies with age.clavicle fractures are more common in children. In adults, the most common fracture is upper part of humerus (proximal humerus). Some types include:

  • Clavicle Fractures: This is the most common shoulder fracture in children, frequently the result of a fall on an out stretched hand.
  • Scapula Fractures: Fractures of this bone is rare. They usually result from high-energy trauma such as motor vehicle accidents or due to fall.
  • Proximal Humerus Fractures: Fractures of the upper part of the arm are more common in the elderly population (above 60 years)

Diagnosing Shoulder

Most of the fractures are diagnosed using x-rays. Sometimes, a CT scan is required to see displacement of fracture fragments.

Shoulder Fracture Treatment/Surgery

Treatment for these fractures can vary. Some options include

Clavicle Fracture Treatment

  • Simple sling or "figure 8" strap worn for three to eight weeks, if fracture is not grossly displaced
  • Displaced fractures may require surgical intervention with wires or plates.

Humerus Fracture Treatment

  • Simple undisplaced fractures can be treated with a cast.
  • Humerus fracture Surgery may include placing plates and screws or wires and sutures .This is more often needed when broken bone pieces are severely displaced.

Return to sports is allowed when the xrays show complete bone healing.

Treatment depends upon the patient's age, activity level, the site and type of the fracture.

Broken Shoulder Recovery

Shoulder fractures would lead to permanent shoulder stiffness irrespective of how well the bones were repaired or joint replacement performed. Recovery may require the use of physical therapy to assist in improving motion and strength. Treatment Options for Shoulder fracture surgery