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Broken Shoulder Blade (cont.)

Broken Shoulder Blade Treatment

The goal of treatment is to maintain function of the shoulder. Most fractures of the body of the scapula are treated without surgery.

  • Ice is used for swelling, and pain medications are used for pain control.
  • The shoulder is immobilized in a shoulder sling for 3-4 weeks until the pain goes away.
  • Pain management is likely to be required; nonsteroidal inti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen, hydrocodone, and morphine are common medications used to reduce pain while the fracture heals. The medication schedule should be determined by the patient's overall condition and associated injuries. The prescribing doctor should take into account the length of time medications can begin to be tapered off; follow-up appointments are useful to help determine this medication schedule.

Broken Shoulder Blade Surgery

Surgical treatment may be needed for certain types of scapular fractures, mostly those involving the shoulder socket (glenoid) or neck of the shoulder blade. Early consultation with an orthopedic surgeon (a surgeon who specializes in bone injuries) will help determine what course of treatment is best for the patient.

Broken Shoulder Blade Other Therapy

Early physical therapy with exercises designed to improve the range of shoulder motion are started about one week after the injury. It is important to start these exercises early to avoid a frozen shoulder (a loss of motion in the shoulder can occur if the shoulder is not used for a prolonged period).

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/25/2016

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Fractures, Scapular »

The primary function of the scapula is to attach the upper extremity to the thorax and provide a stabilized platform for upper extremity movement.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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