Q:

How do you treat a fractured shoulder at home?

A:

Quick Answer

Fractures in the shoulder blade require attention from an emergency room at a hospital, so home treatment is limited to providing first aid prior to receiving medical care, according to eMedicineHealth. Immobilizing and supporting the arm and applying ice provide comfort from swelling and pain during transport.

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Full Answer

If a shoulder blade fracture is suspected, stop movement of the arm as quickly as possible to avoid further injury, explains eMedicineHealth. Placing a sling over the neck to hold the lower arm while the elbow is bent brings the affected arm near the body, holding it still and protecting it from other impacts.

Apply ice packs for 20 minutes at a time to address discomfort and swelling. Wrap them in a thin cloth to keep the ice from touching the skin directly. However, this is the limit of what home treatment accomplishes. Shoulder injuries are frequently accompanied by other injuries, so the next step is to go to a hospital to undergo evaluation of the shoulder and any other injuries, notes eMedicineHealth. If the fracture involves the neck of the shoulder blade or the shoulder socket, surgical treatment may be necessary. An orthopedic surgeon consults with the patient and other medical treatment staff to decide on the best course of action.

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