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Types of Shoulder Fractures

Types of Shoulder Fractures - El Paso Chiropractor
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The shoulder is made up of three bones which together form the shoulder joint: the humerus or the arm bone, the clavicle or the collarbone, and the scapula at the glenoid or the shoulder blade. When a person experiences damage or injury to the shoulder, any of these bones may have been affected. Shoulder fractures may be identified as any of the types of injuries below and the proper treatment should follow accordingly to the type of broken bone.

Types of Shoulder Fractures

In most cases, when a person describes a broken shoulder they are referring to damage or injury to the proximal humerus. A proximal humerus fracture is an injury to the top of the humerus, or the top of the arm bone, which forms the ball of the ball-and-socket joint in the shoulder. This injury can occur in younger people as a result of trauma from an accident and can also occur in older people as a result of osteoporosis, a medical condition that causes weakened bones in the body. As a matter of fact, in people over the age of 65, proximal humerus fractures are the third most common broken bone injuries after hip and wrist fractures.

Clavicle fractures are the most common type of shoulder fracture. The clavicle, also referred to as the collarbone, is the bone that rests over the top of the chest, found between the sternum, or breastbone, and the scapula, or shoulder blade. Broken collarbones can occur in a broad range of age groups, from newborns to the elderly. This injury can occur in babies at birth and in children, adolescent, athletes, and the elderly due to developmental issues or during various types of accidents and falls.

Glenoid fractures are generally uncommon. The glenoid is the socket of the ball-and-socket shoulder joint and it is part of the scapula (shoulder blade). Glenoid fractures most often result when there is considerable trauma to the shoulder, or as a result of sports injuries.

Scapula fractures are also considered to be uncommon injuries. The scapula, or shoulder blade, is a wide, flat bone that sits behind the rib cage. Part of the scapula is covered with cartilage and forms the socket of the ball-and-socket shoulder joint. Scapular fractures are considered rare injuries and these usually occur with considerable trauma from an accident such as automobile accidents or a fall from a significant height. Often times, scapular fractures may also result in chest injuries.

Individuals suspecting injury to the bones around the shoulder joint should look for medical attention as soon as possible. Signs and symptoms suggesting a shoulder fracture include: pain with simple shoulder movements, swelling of the shoulder and arm, bruising around the affected area that may travel down the arm, and joint deformity.

By Dr. Alex Jimenez

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