1. Health
Fracture

What Happens When the Shoulder Is Fractured?

A fracture involves a partial or total crack through a bone. The break in a bone usually occurs as a result of an impact injury, such as a fall or blow to the shoulder. A fracture usually involves the clavicle or the neck (area below the ball) of the humerus.

What Are the Signs of a Shoulder Fracture and How Is It Diagnosed?

A shoulder fracture that occurs after a major injury is usually accompanied by severe pain. Within a short time, there may be redness and bruising around the area. Sometimes a fracture is obvious because the bones appear out of position. Both diagnosis and severity can be confirmed by x rays.

How Is a Shoulder Fracture Treated?

When a fracture occurs, the doctor tries to bring the affected parts into a position that will promote healing and restore arm movement. If the clavicle is fractured, the patient must at first wear a strap and sling to keep the clavicle in place. After removing the strap and sling, the doctor will prescribe exercises to strengthen the shoulder and restore movement. Surgery is occasionally needed for certain clavicle fractures.

Fracture of the neck of the humerus is usually treated with a sling or shoulder immobilizer. If the bones are out of position, surgery may be necessary to reset them. Exercises are also part of restoring shoulder strength and motion.

How Common Are Shoulder Problems?
Structures of the Shoulder and Function
Causes of Shoulder Problems
Shoulder Problems Diagnosis
Index to Shoulder Injuries and Problems
Shoulder Dislocation
Shoulder Separation
Tendinitis, Bursitis, and Impingement Syndrome
Torn Rotator Cuff
Frozen Shoulder
Arthritis Of The Shoulder

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UT Southwestern

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