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3 questions and answers regarding shoulder blade features

  1. How to tell if I have fractured my shoulder blade?

You will have severe pain immediately if you have a shoulder blade fracture. Pain is confined to the top of the shoulder, upper back and shoulder blade regions and you may not be able to move your arm.

Additional symptoms include:

  • At the top of your shoulder and on your upper back, you may notice bruising and swelling.
  • Your shoulder seems to have been disfigured, drooped or flattened.
  • You may feel your arm’s weakness.
  • Your doctor will give you a definitive diagnosis based on your imaging and physical examination tests.


  1. How serious is the shoulder blade fracture?

A fracture of the shoulder blade may be severe, mostly due to other injuries typically sustained at the time of fracture — like injury to the head or spine. In fact, due to other serious conditions, a diagnosis of a shoulder blade fracture is often delayed.

If you experience the following, experts advise people to seek emergency medical attention:

  • Decreased feeling in the injured arm
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal pain


  1. How do I treat this injury?
  • Ice the area injured to reduce swelling. To prevent ice burning, cover the ice pack with a towel or cloth.
  • Take anti-inflammatory drugs that are not steroidal, such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
  • Use a sling for about 3 to 4 weeks to help prevent movement
  • Another option is a shoulder immobilizer: it has an extra strap around your waist that can provide more immobilization.
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