Shoulder Fractures - Flower Mound, TX
Dr. Kevin J. Kulwicki is a renowned orthopedic surgeon in Flower Mound, TX specializing in treating sports injuries and various conditions of the shoulder such as Rotator Cuff injuries, overuse tears, fractures etc.  The surgeon also specializes in treating elbow and neck injuries.

Shoulder Fractures

Commonly known as a broken shoulder, a fracture occurs when there is a crack or break in the joint bone. Being the most flexible joint of human body, shoulder is highly susceptible to injuries. Mainly, there are three different bones in the shoulder, based on which, shoulder fractures can be classified into the following categories:

  • Clavicle/ Collar Bone Fractures: This is the most common fracture of the shoulder which is caused as a result of a fall upon the joint. The fracture can be a little painful and restrict the arm movement till it has been healed completely.
  • Shoulder Blade (Scapula) Fractures: These fractures are not much common and occur as a result of high energy shock such as a fall over the back or a motor vehicle collision.
  • Proximal Humerus Fractures/ Shoulder Joint Fractures: These are most commonly seen in people above the age of 65 or those suffering from Osteoporosis. It mainly occurs due to a fall on the arm.

Causes of Shoulder Fractures

  • Fall with an outstretched arm or hand
  • Collision while playing contact sports such as hockey, basketball, football or soccer
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Direct or indirect blow to the shoulder

Symptoms of Shoulder Fractures

  • Intense pain in the shoulder
  • Swelling in the affected region
  • Tenderness
  • A disfigurement or an under-skin bump in the shoulder at the point of fracture
  • Discoloration or signs of bruising near the break
  • Inability to move the shoulder or severe pain while trying to move

Diagnosis of Shoulder Fractures

To diagnose a fracture in the shoulder, the orthopedic doctor may ask you about the previous events that may have caused the injury.  Following this, he may perform a physical examination of the broken arm and check for other related injuries, such as nerve damage. The doctor may also perform certain imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans and MRI to have a clear view of the extent of deformity in the fractured shoulder.

Treatment for Shoulder Fractures

  • Reduction: In this, the orthopedic doctor moves the broken bone pieces back to their original place. Depending on the severity of the fracture, the patient may or may not require the administration of general or local anesthesia.
  • Using a splint or cast: After the doctor has put the bone back in place, use of a splint or cast is recommended to provide support and protect the shoulder. The recovery time may depend on the severity of the fracture. However, normally it takes 8 to 10 weeks for complete healing of the broken shoulder.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications: The orthopedic doctor may also prescribe certain analgesics and medications to reduce the pain due to the shoulder injury.
  • Physical Therapy: After the shoulder has been healed, physical therapy is very important to gradually restore the functioning of the shoulder back to normal. The therapist will assist you to reinstate your joint flexibility, motion and muscle strength.
  • Surgery: This is usually the last resort for a shoulder fracture. If there is severe damage to the joint, the orthopedic surgeon may suggest the patient to undergo surgical treatment in order to restructure a healthy posture. This involves rearranging of the dislocated bone fragments and repairing of the damaged muscle or joint tissues adjoining the point of break.

To know more about shoulder fractures and their treatment options, visit Dr. Kulwicki. To schedule an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon, call at (972) 899 – 4679.