Scapular Fracture

You have a fractured shoulder blade or scapula. This may happen in auto accidents, falls, or from a direct blow to the back or shoulder. Due to the cause of the injury, many patients with scapular fractures will also have other significant injuries. These may include more serious problems such as rib fractures or a bruised or collapsed lung. If you have no other serious injuries, a fractured scapula can usually be treated without admission to a hospital. Healing takes 6-12 weeks.

Initial treatment includes rest of the injured side for the next 2-3 days. This reduces movement and pain. A sling will be used to rest the injured side. Ice packs on your injury for 15-30 minutes every 2 hours over the next 2-3 days to reduce pain and swelling. Pain medicine may be needed if you are very uncomfortable. Call your caregiver for a follow-up exam as recommended.

SEEK IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE IF:

  • You have increased pain.

  • You have difficulty breathing.

  • You develop a fever.

  • You cough up blood.

MAKE SURE YOU:

  • Understand these instructions.

  • Will watch your condition.

  • Will get help right away if you are not doing well or get worse.