Shoulder Fracture Bracing/Casting
A bone fracture is a medical condition in which the continuity of a bone is broken from damage or injury. Most fractures occur because of injury to the bone; however, some are caused by medical conditions that weaken bones. Fracture treatment differs according to the severity and type of fracture. Nevertheless, casting and bracing is one of the most common nonsurgical treatment for broken bones.
A cast or brace holds the bone in position by restricting mobility to aid the natural process of healing. A cast or brace is worn until the bone heals completely.
Who Needs It?
Individuals who have fractured bones can benefit from casting and bracing. They may experience the following symptoms:
- Intense pain.
- Limited range of motion in the affected area.
- Inability to put weight on the affected area.
- Bruising and discoloration.
- The bone may be bent at an unnatural angle.
- Bleeding in case of an open fracture, which breaks soft tissues.
- The patient may feel dizzy and nauseous.
Casting and bracing without the assistance of surgery is most common for fractures of the Humerus like Mid-shaft humeral fracture, Proximal humeral fracture, and Distal humeral fracture, etc. Apart from Humerus fracture, casting is suitable for fractures of the leg and pelvis.
How is it Performed?
The aim of fracture treatment is to ensure the best possible function of the broken bone after healing. Doctors thoroughly examine the affected area and interview the patient. They order an X-ray to obtain visuals of the broken bone. In some cases, a CT or MRI is also ordered.
Once the type and severity of the fracture are determined, the doctor diagnoses the fracture and recommends treatment. If casting and bracing are optimal treatments, the broken bone is realigned under general anesthesia. The realignment of the bone is called reducing the fracture; it is done through manipulation, closed reduction or open reduction, and internal fixation.
After reduction, the bone is immobilized with a cast and brace to ensure that bone fragments remain aligned. Surgical treatment is recommended if the fracture is severe. Shoulder joint fractures that cause severe shoulder pain may require surgery.
Generally, a cast is administered for 2-8 weeks. The broken bone heals itself by forming a callus that grafts the broken bone. A patient’s age, type of fracture, general health conditions, and lifestyle habits determine how quickly the bone heals. Elderly patients take longer to heal.
Physical therapy is recommended to restore muscle strength after the bone has healed.
Complete Medical Wellness provides effective fracture treatments through non-invasive and surgical options.
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How Long Does It Take for a Fractured Shoulder to Heal?
- Almost 80% of all shoulder fractures are non-displaced.
- Usually, the broken pieces within the shoulder only require immobilization with a sling.
- Most of the shoulder fractures heal in around six weeks.
How Do You Treat a Fractured Shoulder?
- Mostly, fractured scapulae are treated without the need of surgery.
- To reduce swelling, ice is used, and pain medications for pain control.
- By using a sling, the shoulder is immobilized for three to four weeks.
Can a Fractured Shoulder Heal on Its Own?
- The majority of shoulder fractures are treated without the need for surgery with good, long-term results.
- Some shoulder fractures are better treated by surgery since they cause the risk of arthritis if left alone.
Can You Cast a Shoulder?
- Shoulder and arm casts are specialized casts; they fit around the torso and immobilize your shoulder and arm.
- They also help keep the bone in place as it heals, and keeps the muscles from contracting.