Comprehensive Shoulder Fracture Treatment Available in Louisville, KY
A shoulder fracture is a crack or break in at least one of three bones: the collarbone (clavicle), the upper arm bone (humerus), or the shoulder blade (scapula). This type of injury can result from direct trauma sustained in a car accident, sports-related collision, or hard fall. In addition to intense pain, the symptoms of a fractured shoulder can include swelling, bruising, reduced range of motion, and a visible bump near the site of the broken bone.
If you think you might have fractured your shoulder, you should see a physician right away. Consider visiting Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic, an independently owned practice that has been serving active individuals in the Louisville, Kentucky, area since 1974. Our highly respected team includes board-certified orthopedic surgeons and sports medicine specialists, and we offer a variety of conservative and surgical treatment options for shoulder conditions.
To diagnose your injury, we will ask about your symptoms, perform a physical examination, and take an X-ray, which can be performed on site. If necessary, we will also order an MRI, a CT scan, or an ultrasound. Once we confirm your diagnosis, we can suggest a personalized treatment plan to help you recover.
How Is a Shoulder Fracture Treated?
Treatment can vary depending on the severity of the break. The types of shoulder fractures include:
- Nondisplaced clavicle fractures – If the ends of a broken collarbone have not moved out of alignment, the injury may heal on its own within approximately 12 weeks. In the meantime, the affected arm can be immobilized in a sling to avoid aggravating the injury.
- Displaced clavicle fractures – If the ends of a broken collarbone are significantly separated or overlapping, a surgical repair may be considered. A small internal fixation device, such as a plate, can be surgically placed to secure the bone and help it heal in the proper position.
- Humerus fractures – The upper arm bone can potentially break in three areas: near the shoulder joint (a proximal humerus fracture), between the shoulder and the elbow (a mid-shaft humerus fracture), or near the elbow joint (a distal humerus fracture). Humerus fractures are often treated with a brace or sling. However, internal fixation surgery may be considered if the ends of the broken bone are significantly separated or overlapping.
- Scapula fractures – A broken shoulder blade may heal on its own within approximately 12 weeks. In the meantime, an immobilization brace or sling can be worn to limit movement and promote proper healing.
Within a few weeks, a customized physical therapy program may be started to help restore shoulder strength and range of motion. If needed, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be taken to relieve mild to moderate pain.
Consult With a Shoulder Specialist
If you have injured your shoulder, contact Louisville Orthopaedic Clinic today to request an appointment with a specialist at our location in Louisville, KY. We will promptly evaluate your injury and guide you through your treatment options.