Broken Shoulders from Accidents
Broken shoulders from accidents are frequent. A broken shoulder is often referred to as a fractured humerus. The humerus is the upper arm between the elbow and shoulder. The humerus can fracture in many places. There are greater tuberosity, lesser tuberosity, humeral head and humeral shaft fractures. Muscles are attached to various parts of the humerus and depending on the part injured, different muscle groups may need to be worked more in physical therapy to encourage healing.
Often, a broken or fractured humerus can be handled by a “collar and cuff” cast for 6 to 8 weeks, although some humeral fractures will require surgery. Fractured shoulders can take around one year until maximum medical improvement. Whether there will be permanent impairment cannot be foreseen until that time passes.
Tips on Treating a Fractured Shoulder
A course of physical therapy is often recommended. Over the course of working with clients with fractured shoulders, I’ve developed a list of tips and insights that may help you get through this better:
- Washing: You can remove the collar and cuff to wash.
- Driving: You will be unable to drive for at least eight weeks after a shoulder fracture. Try to obtain transportation alternatives during this time.
- Working: Some people can work in as little as two weeks after a shoulder fracture. Others, with surgery, can be disabled much longer. The nature of the work you do has much to do with how long you may be disabled.
- Put a recliner in your bedroom. It will be much easier to sleep sitting up. Keep pillows to prop you up and ice bags nearby.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Stop smoking. Smoking delays bone healing.
- Take in lots of calcium which also speeds healing of bone.
- For women: A blow dryer stand can help you if you need to blow dry your hair. And it’s OK to ask for help in putting on a bra. Many clients have told me that’s really tough to do.
- Watch out for dogs getting under your feet. You really don’t want another accident now.
A fractured shoulder, is, unfortunately, one of the more painful and debilitating fractures you can suffer. There are many other sites on the web for tips on shoulder injuries. Most of them are helpful.
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