Condition: Shoulder Fracture

Shoulder fractures are a result of any trauma or injury to the shoulder from a direct blow.

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What is a Shoulder Fracture?

The humerus is the bone in your upper arm between your shoulder and elbow.  A heavy blow or fall onto the shoulder can cause the top of the humerus to fracture. This part of the bone makes up the ball part of the “ball and socket” shoulder joint.

Symptoms of a Fractured Shoulder

Symptoms of a Fractured Shoulder include:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Bruising around the arm extending towards the elbow
  • Reduced movement

Treating a Fractured Shoulder

The pattern and degree of displacement of the fracture will determine the treatment. Your doctor will try to treat it without surgery and you will be placed in a sling or brace for about 4 weeks and you should commence gentle physiotherapy after about 2 weeks. You will have regular X-rays taken of the shoulder to check position and healing.

If the shoulder is too badly damaged you will require an operation to bring the pieces of displaced bone together with sutures, pins, plates or screws. In the worse cases a shoulder replacement may be required.

Your OneWelbeck Orthopaedic Consultant will be able to discuss the best course of treatment with you.

Risks with a fractured shoulder

It is important to get a shoulder fracture treated properly. If not treated properly a shoulder fracture can lead to long term pain and disability. Even with the best possible treatment it may be that you lose a mild degree of shoulder function long term.

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Jul 2024


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