The idea that we may fracture or injure any part of our body is usually far from our mind. The exception may be a person who plays professional sports or who routinely engages in intense physical activities. For the average person – the person we end up seeing in our New Jersey orthopedic office – injuries such as rotator cuff tears or shoulder blade fractures are not even a blip on the radar. We’re not saying they should be. Our role here is to offer tips for prevention, and awareness that will enable you to get the care you need when you need it.
The good news about shoulder blade fractures is that they do not occur often. This type of injury is rare because the shoulder blade is a relatively protected part of the body, surrounded by muscle tissue. In fact, when the shoulder blade has sustained a fracture, it may coincide with other injuries to the chest or even the head.
What to Know about Shoulder Blade Fractures
- If a fracture occurs in this bone, you will know it. This is not a benign injury; it will hurt. Pain may be felt at the top of the shoulder and across the shoulder blade region of the back. Arm movement may also be difficult. Other indications of a fracture include swelling and bruising on the top of the shoulder and arm weakness on the side of the injury. Symptoms like these should be thoroughly examined by a qualified physician.
- Because this type of fracture usually coincides with other, potentially more serious injuries, immediate diagnosis of the shoulder blade fracture may not occur. It is important to report all symptoms to a treating physician to facilitate the fullest extent of diagnosis.
- A shoulder blade fracture may not require surgery for repair. Anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed to reduce stiffness and swelling. Ice may offset soreness, and temporary immobilization by use of an arm sling may be recommended. This will help facilitate the natural healing of the injured bone.
Schedule a Consultation
Advanced Orthopedics and Hand Surgery Institute has three offices in New Jersey. Call (973) 942-1315 for more information on shoulder injuries and treatment options.