Shoulder fractures

Common Types of Shoulder Fractures and Your Treatment Options

Shoulder fractures are common, and they often require a long recovery period. However, actual recovery time and treatment options are determined by the type of fracture that has occurred.

There are different types of fractures a patient can experience. Here, we will look at the common types of shoulder fractures and the treatment options available.

What are the common types of shoulder fractures?

The shoulder has three main bones which can suffer a fracture. These include the clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone). While fractures to each of these bones produces the same type of symptoms, there are some differences between them.

Clavicle fractures mostly tend to occur after a fall, accident or direct hit. The severity of the fracture is measured in Groups I, II, and III. Patients will usually have some trouble lifting the arm with this type of fracture.

Scapula fractures are the least common type and they mostly occur in men aged 25 to 45. They are mostly caused by a direct hit to the area either through playing sports or after suffering a car accident. Patients with this type of fracture will typically also have suffered additional damage such as rib fractures or nerve injuries.

Fractures which affect the humerus bone are commonly referred to as proximal humerus fractures. They affect the top of the bone and can develop at any age. However, older people and those suffering from osteoporosis are at an increased risk. There are other types of fractures that can affect the humerus bone, but they don’t tend to affect the shoulder as much as a proximal humerus fracture.

These are the three different types of fractures patients can develop. The question is, if you do suffer with a shoulder fracture, what treatment options do you have?

Understanding your shoulder fracture treatment options

The type of treatment required to correct a fracture will depend upon several factors. The type and severity of the fracture will ultimately determine the best course of treatment.

With a clavicle fracture, most do tend to heal without the need for surgery. However, if the fracture is fragmented or severely displaced, surgery may be required. Non-surgical treatment of this kind of fracture includes painkillers, a polysling, and physiotherapy.

Proximal humerus fractures may or may not require surgery. If they don’t, a cuff sling and collar will need to be worn for up to six weeks. Strength in the arm will gradually return after three months. There is also the possibility that compared to the uninjured shoulder, it will always feel stiffer. If surgery is required, there are a couple of techniques that may be used. Your surgeon will talk through your options with you during the consultation.

If you suspect you have a fractured shoulder, seeking treatment as quickly as possible is recommended. Living with a fracture can be painful and limit your daily activities. Call 0203 195 2442 to book a consultation now to diagnose and identify the best course of treatment for your fracture.