Fractures around the shoulder can occur in several locations
Fractures of the humerus can be caused by a fall onto an outstretched arm or onto the point of the shoulder. It usually occurs through the neck of the humerus which is below the ball and it characterised by tenderness, swelling, pain with movement and possibly deformity. The presence of a fracture is confirmed with an X-ray.
The treatment consists of initial immobilisation followed by rehabilitation for strength and mobility. In some cases surgery is required to realign the ends of the bone.
Fractures of the clavicle can also be caused by a fall onto an outstretched arm or onto the point of the shoulder. The patient will have tenderness and swelling over the area of the fracture and a grating sensation when attempting to move.
Initial treatment is pain relief and immobilisation in a sling followed by strengthening and mobility rehabilitation. There will usually be a bony lump where the fracture has healed but this has no functional drawbacks.
Fractures of the scapula are relatively uncommon and are usually caused by direct trauma such as a blow to the back. Treatment is mainly symptomatic for pain relief and mobility.