Fractures in the shoulder are the result of additional damages to the bones occurring when the shoulder is dislocated. This is typically the result of a serious collision or fall causing shoulder trauma.
In most cases, breaking a bone or fracturing part of the shoulder can be treated with the same methods used in treating other bones in the body. You will need to keep the injury elevated until it can be treated by your surgeon at South Florida Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine. If necessary, the bone is repositioned and a cast or sling is put in place to help stabilize the bone as it heals. As healing progresses and the sling or cast is removed, physical therapy will be used to improve strength, flexibility and range of motion.
A majority of patients experience a full recovery and a significant reduction in pain following treatment.
In some rare cases a severe shoulder fracture will require surgical treatment in order to improve healing conditions in the joint. If the bone is protruding or if it has significantly shifted out of position, surgery will be required. Your surgeon at South Florida Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine will use metal hardware – screws, plates, or shafts – to anchor the bone back in place and create a stable structure in the bone for healing to take place.
Your surgeon will create a small incision in the damaged shoulder to access the joint, however the exact surgical procedure is dependent on the conditions of the fracture. If the bone has been displaced, your surgeon will reposition the bone and secure its position with the metal hardware mentioned above. If the ball of the humerus (arm bone) has been fractured, your surgeon may recommend a shoulder replacement.
Results and Recovery
Recovery length will be dependent on the methods used to treat a shoulder fracture. When the fracture has healed physical therapy is necessary to rebuild strength, range of motion, and flexibility in the shoulder.
Following shoulder fracture treatment, a majority of patients experience a significant decrease in pain and improved mobility in the arm and shoulder. Most patients can resume normal activities 6 to 12 months after surgery.
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