How do you treat a fractured shoulder?

When you have a fractured shoulder, it’s important to get the right treatment so that your shoulder can heal properly. Treatment for a fractured shoulder depends on the severity of the fracture. Immobilisation, surgery and rehabilitation are the main ways to treat a fractured shoulder.


If the fractured shoulder is a simple fracture, it may be treated with a sling or a cast. X-rays are taken of the shoulder and then it is put in a sling, cast, or splint. Immobilising the joint will ensure the correct position for the shoulder to heal on its own.


If the fractured shoulder is a more serious fracture, surgery may be required. Surgery usually takes place under general anaesthetic and you will stay in hospital for two to three days. The type of surgery you have will depend on the type of fracture you have.

The surgery for shoulder fractures can be a closed reduction (without cutting your shoulder open) with a K-wire fixation. If you have a more serious fracture, the surgeon may need to put metalwork (plates and screws) into your shoulder to hold the bones in place. This is called internal fixation.

Partial shoulder replacement may be considered for fractured shoulders, if there is damage to the blood supply of the head of the humerus.

Either of the management will always be followed by a tailor-made physiotherapy regime. If you have had surgery, you will need to wear a sling for four to six weeks. You will then start your rehabilitation exercises. The aim of rehabilitation is to regain as much movement and strength in your shoulder as possible.


Rehabilitation is an important part of treatment for a fractured shoulder. It helps to regain movement and strength in your shoulder. A physiotherapist will design an exercise program specifically for you. The aim of rehabilitation is to regain as much movement and strength in your shoulder as possible.

The exercises will help to reduce pain and swelling, and improve the range of movement in your shoulder. They will also help to strengthen the muscles around your shoulder.

If you want to regain your shoulder range of motion and strength, it is important to do the exercises as prescribed by your physiotherapist. In fact, most people fail to complete their rehab and do not reach their full recovery. It is also important to be patient. It takes time for a fractured shoulder to heal properly.

See Also:

Shoulder Bursitis Exercises

Read more about Fractured Shoulders:

1. Can you fracture your shoulder?

2. How do you treat a fractured shoulder?

3. How to tell if you have fractured your shoulder?

4. Can you fracture your shoulder blade?

5. Can a fractured shoulder heal on its own?

6. How long does it take to heal a fractured shoulder?

7. How long before you can drive after a fractured shoulder?