Shoulder Injury and Shoulder Fracture

What injuries can be sustained around the shoulder?

Injury to the shoulder is very common.

Injuries include fractures (broken bones) to the collar bone (broken collarbone or clavicle fracture), shoulder blade (scapula), shoulder joint, or upper arm bone (humerus).

Joint and soft tissue injuries can also result from trauma to the shoulder region. This can damage the shoulder joint itself (with the rotator cuff tendons or internal ligaments) or the acromioclavicular joint which sits at the top of the shoulder. It is also possible to damage and dislocate the sternoclavicular joint which interrupts the connection between the collar bone (clavicle) and the breastbone (sternum).

What are the symptoms of shoulder injury?

Symptoms are often obvious after an injury to this area. They include pain, swelling, bruising, inability to move the shoulder, deformity (“it doesn’t look right”) or a grinding sensation when the shoulder is moved. You may also experience shoulder pain from sleeping, which can be very troublesome.

What are the treatment options?

The treatment depends on the nature of the injury. After a thorough assessment, including imaging to confirm the diagnosis, your Melbourne Arm Clinic specialist will discuss the options with you.

Many shoulder injuries can be treated without surgery. Rest, ice, pain killers and time can heal injuries around the shoulder. There are however, some injuries that will not improve in time or with these non-operative measures, and will require surgery to fix the problem and allow you to return to usual activities.

Surgical options range from keyhole surgery to fix torn ligaments or tendons, small mini open procedures to fix small fractures (broken bones) to more traditional, open approaches to fix fractures with plates and screws. Some severe fractures of the upper arm (humerus) may require shoulder replacement if too much damage is done to the bones by the fracture.

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