Shoulder Trauma: Orthopedic Treatment

Shoulder trauma or injuries are a very common occurrence that can occur due to an accident or sudden fall. The shoulder comprises of three bones, namely: scapula, clavicle or humerus. A number of ligaments, tendons and muscles join these bones together. A shoulder trauma can affect any of these structures and lead to immense pain and discomfort.

There are various types of shoulder injuries such as fractures, dislocations and soft tissue injuries. Shoulder trauma can cause immense difficulty in moving the arm properly.

Causes

  • Strong blow from a fall or road accident
  • Forceful twisting of the arm outwards
  • Powerful contraction of the shoulder muscles
  • Lifting extremely heavy objects

Symptoms

  • Pain and inflammation in the affected area
  • Visible bruising in the affected area
  • Inability to move the shoulder properly
  • A grinding sound when the shoulder is moved
  • Deformity in the shoulder joint
  • A visible bump in case of a fracture in the shoulder

Diagnosis

  • The doctor will conduct a detailed physical examination of the patient and note down the visible symptoms
  • The patient may be asked questions pertaining to history of the injury
  • The shoulder’s range of motion may be tested
  • Imaging tests such as X-Rays along with Computed Tomography (CT) scan may be conducted to look at the injury in detail

Treatment

The treatment for shoulder trauma depends on the nature of the injury. The aim of the treatment is to help the patient regain normal range of motion. Generally, younger patients are advised surgery but it also depends on the health of the patient.

Non-surgical treatment

  • The patient may be advised to immobilize his shoulder using a sling or shoulder immobilizer
  • Using ice packs can provide temporary relief from pain and discomfort
  • Pain medications may be prescribed by the orthopedic doctor to reduce pain and swelling
  • Shoulder Dislocation is initially treated by putting the dislocated bone back into the socket
  • Mild sedation and pain medication is administered before commencing the process
  • An X-Ray may be conducted afterwards to check if the process has been successful
  • The patient may be advised to wear a sling or special brace afterwards

Surgical treatment

  • Surgical intervention may be recommended in case of a compound fracture where the bone is extremely fractured
  • In the procedure, the fracture is fixed using plates and screws or rods inside the bone
  • Repeated dislocations or instances of shoulder instability may also require surgery to treat the condition

Visit the shoulder trauma specialist at OrthoTexas for complete treatment of orthopedic conditions. For an appointment, call at (972) 899-4679.

Categories