How is a shoulder fracture diagnosed?
If a shoulder fracture is suspected, urgent evaluation should be considered. X-rays will typically show a break, but in more serious cases 3-D imaging may be necessary with a CT scan. The orthopedic specialists at The Shoulder Clinic of Idaho may suggest a repeat x-ray, MRI scan or CT scan to fully assess the fracture pattern and to determine if there is additional damage to the shoulder joint which may help identify the best treatment alternative for your fracture.
What is the treatment for a fractured shoulder?
Fractures of the shoulder and clavicle that are classified as on-displaced can often be treated without surgery. If the bone fracture will heal and return good shoulder function to the patient without surgery, a non-surgical approach will be recommended. Initial treatment might include pain medication, immobilization with a sling and rest. When the bone has healed, physical therapy will be may be recommended for patients in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, and the surrounding communities of the Treasure Valley to help aid in a safe return of normal comfort and function of the shoulder.
If the bone does not heal with non-surgical treatment or if the fracture is significantly displaced, shoulder fracture surgery may be suggested to promote healing, eliminate the risk of arthritis and to aide in a more rapid restoration of shoulder comfort and function. The specific type of shoulder surgery for more severe shoulder fractures with significant displacement of the bone should be discussed with the shoulder specialists at The Shoulder Clinic of Idaho.
The Shoulder Clinic of Idaho has several shoulder specialists who are extremely skilled in numerous shoulder surgery techniques associated with treating fractures of the shoulder and clavicle. They may recommend arthroscopic surgery to perform fixation of the joint, or they may suggest an open surgery for an open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) procedure. An open surgical reduction requires that the skin be opened at the fracture site and the bones are then realigned and held back together with surgical pins or plates. The appropriate surgery technique will depend upon the fracture type, severity of the injury, patient’s level of activity, and the patient’s expectations.
If you live in Boise, Meridian, Nampa, or the surrounding communities of the Treasure Valley and would like further information regarding fractures of the shoulder and clavicle, and to consult with one of our orthopedic shoulder specialists, please contact us at The Shoulder Clinic of Idaho.