Broken Shoulder Blade (cont.)
Broken Shoulder Blade Diagnosis
A doctor will be able to diagnose a broken shoulder blade after a thorough physical examination and imaging.
Shoulder and chest X-rays are taken.
CT scans of the abdomen and chest are sometimes indicated to evaluate other injuries.
CT scans of the shoulder are sometimes needed to diagnose fractures of the shoulder socket (glenoid).
Fractures of the scapula are sometimes discovered during extensive evaluations after major trauma from falls, motor vehicle accidents, or direct trauma.
Broken Shoulder Blade Self-Care at Home
Because shoulder blade fractures are often associated with severe, potentially life-threatening injuries, they should be evaluated in a hospital's emergency department.
Immobilize the arm immediately. Don't move it. This can be accomplished with a sling looped over the neck and the elbow bent, which holds the affected arm close to the body.
Apply ice to the area to reduce swelling and discomfort.
Apply ice for 20 minutes at a time, and avoid direct contact of the ice to the skin.
Because there is a high chance that other injuries have been sustained at the time of the shoulder injury, the injured person should be transported by ambulance to a hospital, preferably one that is a trauma center for evaluation of the shoulder and other injuries.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/25/2016
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