What is a Shoulder Fracture?
A break in a bone that makes up the shoulder joint is called a shoulder fracture.
Types of Fractures
The clavicle and end of the humerus closest to the shoulder are the ones that usually get fractured. On the other hand, the scapula is not easily fractured because of its protective cover by the surrounding muscles and chest tissue.
Causes of Shoulder Fracture
Clavicle and humerus fractures can occur from a direct hit from a motor vehicle accident, collision, or fall. A scapula fracture can occur by high-energy trauma from a high-speed motor vehicle accident.
Signs and Symptoms of Shoulder Fracture
The common signs and symptoms of a shoulder fracture may include:
- Difficulty in lifting your arm
- Numbness, tingling, or coldness of the hand and forearm
- The popping sound, also referred to as crepitus, heard or felt at the time of the fracture
Diagnosis of Shoulder Fracture
A shoulder fracture is usually diagnosed based on a thorough physical examination and imaging studies such as X-rays and CT scans.
Treatments for Shoulder Fractures
The treatment for a shoulder fracture is based on the type of fracture. Treatment can include non-surgical and surgical methods.
A broken clavicle bone usually heals without surgery. Non-surgical treatments for shoulder fractures may include immobilization by placing your arm in a sling, pain medication, and physical therapy. If the fracture has led to the displacement of the bones, then surgery may be required to correct and fix them with pins, plates, or screws.
Post-surgery, physical therapy may be recommended to aid in the recovery and improve range-of-motion and strength of the arm.