Shoulder Fracture

Also known as: shoulder bone fracture, broken shoulder.

What is a shoulder fracture?

When a bone in shoulder breaks, such as the scapula, proximal humerus or clavicle, this is known as a shoulder fracture. There are different types, including a stable fracture where the bones stay aligned, an open fracture that punctures the skin, a transverse fracture with a horizontal line, an oblique fracture with an angled pattern, or a comminuted fracture where the bone shatters into several pieces.

What causes shoulder fracture?

Falls, sports injuries and car accidents are common causes of shoulder fractures. Having osteoporosis can make a fracture more likely to occur.

What are the symptoms of shoulder fracture?

It’s common to experience swelling, bruising, numbness, tingling, intense pain, trouble moving the limb or limb deformity after a shoulder fracture occurs.

What are shoulder fracture care options?

Shoulder fractures are often treated with casts or braces that hold the bones in alignment and limit movement until they can heal. In some instances, surgery and fixation is required to join the bones back together.


Reviewed by: Craig J Spurdle, MD

This page was last updated on: September 09, 2020 11:24 AM

Learn more about

Labral Tear of the Shoulder

The labrum is a ring of tissue that cushions the socket of the shoulder and prevents the top of the arm bone (or the “head”) from pulling away from the socket. In certain instances, the tissue of the labrum can become injured or wear over time and tear. Learn more