From car accidents to sports injuries, shoulder fractures are a common occurrence here in east Tennessee. The shoulder joint is made from three different bones – the collarbone, the shoulder blade, and the humerus (the upper arm bone). When any of these is fractured, this is considered a shoulder fracture.
There are three types of shoulder fractures that correspond with the three bones that make up the shoulder joint.
Clavicle fracture – A broken collarbone is the most common type of shoulder fracture. A clavicle fracture is often the result of a fall.
Humerus fracture – This is a fracture in the upper arm bone. It is most common in patients over age 65, though it can occur at any age.
Scapula fracture – The shoulder blade, also known as the scapula, can become broken due to a dramatic event such as a car accident or fall from a distance. Scapula fractures are the least common type of shoulder fracture.
If you are experiencing pain, swelling, and bruising of the shoulder area, or feel like your shoulder is slipping out of place, you may have a broken shoulder. At Tennessee Orthopedic Clinics, the way we treat a broken shoulder depends on the location and severity of the break.
Immobilization – Securing the broken bones of the shoulder in a cast or sling keeps them in place during the healing process. Immobilization is generally used for less complex breaks, though it can also be part of shoulder fracture surgery.
Shoulder fracture surgery – In some cases, surgery is necessary to ensure proper healing of a broken shoulder. Surgery is used if the shoulder break also includes damage to the surrounding tendons and tissues or if the break is especially complex.