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Shoulder Fractures

What are the symptoms of a shoulder fracture? 

– Fractures of the shoulder are common injuries and frequently can be treated non-surgically, but sometimes require surgery. 
– They can occur as a result of a high-energy injury in a strong bone or a low energy injury in weak bone.
– Initial first aid treatment includes pain relief and a sling to rest the shoulder.
– Ice and compression should be used to reduce the swelling and imaging performed to decide on treatment.
– Most injuries can be treated conservatively with a sling and physiotherapy usually for around 2 months.
– Sometimes, due to deformity or poor healing, surgery is needed to reduce the fractured bone fragments and secure them to allow early movement.
– It is important that early movement occurs after surgery or injury as otherwise the development of a frozen shoulder can occur.

    What are the different types of shoulder fractures?

    Collarbone fracture (clavicle)

    – A clavicle fracture is also known as a broken collar bone.
    – Broken collar bones are very common and are usually caused by a direct blow to the bone itself or from falling on an outstretched arm.
    – X-ray will confirm the severity of the break.
    Non-displaced fractures can heal without surgery, whereas displaced fractures may  require surgery depending on how displaced they are.

      Scapula or Shoulder Blade fractures

      – Shoulder blade fractures are very uncommon.
      – Typically shoulder blade fractures occur in the lower or inferior aspect of the bone.
      – Many of these fractures can be treated without surgery.
      – Symptoms include extreme pain and swelling close to the site of injury.

      Upper Arm or Proximal Humerus Fracture

      – These kinds of fractures frequently occur in elderly people when there is a fall from an outstretched arm.
      – A fall can be a simple fall from standing in the elderly to a more vigorous fall from a bike in a younger person.
      – They are commonly seen as osteoporotic or weak bone injuries in older people.
      – While many proximal humeral fractures may not need surgery, when they involve the joint they may be better treated with surgery. 
      – It is always best to get the right advice for your proximal humeral fracture.