FRACTURES OF THE SHOULDER BLADE (SCAPULA)
The shoulder blade also called the scapula is a large triangular shaped bone. This bone is located in the upper back and is protected by the muscles in the shoulder. The scapula is important because it helps stabilize the other bones in the shoulder and helps with the movement of the shoulder. Although very rare it is possible to fracture the scapula.
As mentioned above it is very difficult to fracture the scapula, however, fractures can occur. The most common causes of a scapula fracture is by severe trauma to the area during a fall onto the back, vehicle accident or motorcycle accident, abuse, certain sports, or if a person has weakened bones caused by osteoporosis. It’s important to note that when the scapula fractures other bones such as the ribs or the spine may be fractured as well.
When a person has a fractured scapula they may experience several different symptoms. Some of these symptoms include:
- inability to lift the arm
- popping sound in the shoulder
- severe pain
- grinding sensation when moving the arm
- a bump under the skin may also be visible if the broken bone shifts out of place.
If a person is suffering any of the symptoms above or if they believe they may have a fractured scapula it’s important to contact Davis Orthopedics for a proper diagnosis and treatment. A fractured scapula can become very painful and limit a person’s shoulder movement if untreated. Seeking treatment at our Prescott Valley, Arizona office is the best way to relieve the pain and ensure proper healing of the area. When a patient comes into Davis Orthopedics, Dr. Mark Davis D.O. will diagnose the problem by doing a physical exam and by taking several x-rays. Once the area is diagnosed as a scapula fracture, there are several treatment options our Prescott Valley, Arizona office provides.
In most cases, scapula fractures can be treated non-surgically with a sling. A sling helps support the shoulder and is usually worn for 3-6 weeks. Other treatment options include rest, ice, pain medication, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy when the area has healed. Physical therapy helps a person regain normal range of motion in their shoulder. A physical therapist can teach a person several exercises that can help them prevent future complications with their shoulder area. Dr. Davis may also recommend surgery if the bone is shifted or fails to heal properly.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above or believe you may have a scapula fracture contact our office today for an appointment. Seeking treatment early is the best way to get out of pain and help the area heal quickly and properly.