The shoulder blade (scapula) is a triangle-shaped bone in the upper back. It connects to the upper arm bone (humerus) and to the collarbone (clavicle).
Shoulder blade fractures are usually caused by high-impact crashes such as motorcycle or car crashes or very hard falls.
Treatment for these fractures is usually a sling or other device that supports the shoulder while the bone heals.
Most fractures heal completely in about six weeks, but it can take six months to a year for your shoulder motion to return to normal. Sometimes, full motion doesn't return. Some types of shoulder blade fractures may need surgery.
The doctor has checked you carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter D119 in the search box to learn more about "Shoulder Blade Fracture: Care Instructions".
Current as of: November 29, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & David Bardana, MD, FRCSC - Orthopedic Surgery, Sports Medicine
©2006-2018 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.