Fractures of the shoulder can cause significant pain, disability, and loss of function – especially if not diagnosed and managed appropriately.
The proximal humerus, or the upper part of the arm bone at the shoulder, is the most common site of fracture. Although sometimes fractures in this area will heal without intervention, many cases require surgical repair or even a shoulder replacement or reverse shoulder replacement. Surgery on the shoulder may be needed to enable use of the arm for holding a walker or a cane – especially if the patient has also suffered a hip fracture or knee fracture at the same time. In isolation, shoulder fracture repair may only require one night in the hospital or possibly even occur on an outpatient basis.
Another common site of shoulder fracture is the clavicle, or the collar bone. Clavicle fractures often heal on their own, but may leave a large “bump” at the fracture site as the body lays down extensive amounts of callus, or healing bone. If the pieces of the clavicle are significantly displaced or shortened, surgery can restore the alignment and positioning of the bone. Clavicle fracture repair usually involves the placement of a plate and multiple screws.
Dr. Bushnell performs several shoulder fracture surgeries every year, and he has lectured about shoulder fractures at the national level. Some of his latest research also involves complex shoulder fractures and their treatment.
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