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What Is a Shoulder Fracture?

A shoulder fracture is a common orthopaedic injury. The shoulder contains several bones, and a traumatic collision can cause one (or more) of those bones to break.

The term “shoulder fracture” can actually refer to several different injuries, including:

  • A broken clavicle, or collarbone
  • A broken scapula, or shoulder blade
  • A broken humerus, or upper arm bone

Symptoms of a broken shoulder

When a shoulder bone fractures, many people describe it as a popping or snapping sensation. Shortly after the injury occurs, the area can swell and pain can spread throughout the shoulder and into the affected arm. It’s often difficult to raise the arm over the head.

How is a broken shoulder treated?

Treatment typically depends on the location and the severity of a shoulder fracture. Some fractures are not displaced and can be treated without surgery. Medications can be prescribed to help with pain in the meantime, and physical therapy can improve mobility after the fracture has healed.

When a bone breaks and pieces shift out of their original locations, surgery may be recommended to properly realign the loose fragments. Plates and screws can be used to secure the bone into place.

At Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, we frequently treat both minor and severe broken bones. Our shoulder injury specialists can evaluate your shoulder, perform any necessary imaging tests, and help you determine the best approach to treatment.

Whenever conservative treatments are appropriate, we typically take this approach, as it is less traumatic to the body. However, if surgery is necessary, we recommend the least invasive options to help reduce the length of a patient’s recovery.

For more information about our approach to shoulder fracture treatment, contact Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine today. We welcome patients from Houston, Texas, and other surrounding areas.