Fractures are broken bones and those that affect the shoulder typically involve the

  • Clavicle (collar bone)
  • Proximal humerus (upper arm bone)
    • Fractures of the clavicle or the proximal humerus often result from the force of a hard fall, collision, or motor vehicle acciden
  • Scapula (shoulder blade)
    • The scapula is not as easily fractured because of the protection afforded by the chest and surrounding muscles. Therefore, scapula fractures are commonly the result of more severe traumas and are often associated with injuries to the chest.

Shoulder fractures are common, and typically result from a hard fall, car accident, or other strong force to the shoulder area. Children are more likely to fracture the clavicle, while adults fracture the proximal humerus more frequently.  Older adults are particularly vulnerable to these upper arm bone fractures.

Some common symptoms of shoulder fractures include:

  • Shoulder pain
  • Swelling and bruising of the shoulder area
  • Inability to move the shoulder without pain
  • A bump or disfigurement at the site of the fracture
  • Snapping or cracking sensation when moving the shoulder

Shoulder Fracture Care at MedStar Georgetown

We understand that experiencing a shoulder fracture can be overwhelming and painful, and we work with you and your family to get you the diagnosis and treatment you need quickly and effectively. We customize our approach to meet your needs, offering you the most advanced treatment options available.

Our team includes orthopedic surgeons who specialize in both traditional and contemporary management of shoulder disorders. Our surgeons are leaders in the field, with unique expertise in the most innovative techniques and surgeries for treating shoulder injuries.  With fellowship training and experience focused exclusively on shoulder surgery, our surgeons offer you the best standard of care.

Shoulder Fracture Diagnosis 

The orthopedic surgeons at Georgetown are experts at diagnosing the complexities of shoulder fractures. Our initial exam generally includes:

  • Taking your medical history – This includes asking questions about how the injury occurred, whether you have other medical problems, and if you take any medications.
  • Physical exam – Your orthopedist will examine the shoulder area carefully to check where you are most sensitive to pain.
  • Imaging tests – To confirm a broken shoulder bone, the orthopedist will likely order an X-ray, which shows a picture of the inside of your affected area, and pinpoints the exact location of your fracture.

Shoulder Fracture Treatment

Most shoulder fractures can be treated by setting the joint into place and using a sling or strap to immobilize it. After a period of healing, rehabilitation exercises are recommended to promote shoulder strength and motion. In more severe cases, in which fracture fragments have been displaced from their normal position, surgery may be necessary to realign the shoulder.

Learn more about fractured shoulder surgery at MedStar Georgetown.



Make an Appointment

For more information or to schedule an appointment with a shoulder specialist, call our scheduling line. 

Phone: 202-295-0549

Shoulder Specialist