Shoulder fractures may occur at the clavicle (collar bone), humerus (upper arm bone) or the scapula (shoulder blade). A shoulder fracture is where one of the shoulder bones breaks into two or more pieces.
Shoulder fractures may be classed as non-displaced, where the broken bone remains in its usual position, or displaced, where it has moved out of position by more than 3mm . If the bone has broken in to three or more pieces it is known as a comminuted shoulder fracture.
In most cases, a broken shoulder does not require surgery. The arm will be supported in a sling initially to allow it to heal and then a rehab programme is followed under the guidance of a physical therapist.
- The most common shoulder fracture in children is a fractured clavicle / collar bone.
- In adults, the most common is a proximal humerus fracture which is a break in the upper arm bone.
- The least common shoulder bone to break is the scapula / shoulder blade