How long does it take to heal a fractured shoulder?

Most fractured shoulders will heal on their own within six weeks to a few months. Reaching full recovery can take several months, meaning recovering full range of motion and strength in the shoulder and rotator cuff muscles. However, some fractured shoulders may require surgery to ensure proper healing. Following the fracture, healing begins the very same day. Healing in our body is a complex process and is divided into 4 major steps. They are:

  1. Hematoma formation (day 1 to 5)
  2. Fibrocartilaginous callus formation (day 5 to 11)
  3. Bony callus formation (day 11 to 28)
  4. Bone remodeling (day 28 to months/years)

Factors that affect healing time for a fractured shoulder

These additional factors primarily define why some of us heal quicker than others.

Local Factors (these factors affect the fracture healing specifically at the fracture site)

  1. Type, size, and location of the fracture
  2. Infection
  3. Blood supply at the fracture site
  4. Soft tissue damage
  5. Constant movement of the fracture segments

Systemic Factors (these factors slow down the overall healing capacity of the body)

  1. Age
  2. Obesity
  3. Haematological abnormalities (e.g., anemia)
  4. Endocrine conditions (e.g., diabetes mellitus)
  5. Malnutrition
  6. Smoking

Monitoring your recovery using the Reflex Health app

If you have fractured your shoulder blade, you will need to monitor your recovery carefully.

Reflex Health is an app that can help you keep track of your progress as you heal. As your recover, you can expect your shoulder range of motion to gradually increase and shoulder pain to subside. The app will provide you with customised exercises and stretches based on your stage of recovery.

Reflex Health App showing range of motion for flexion and pain score in the ios app

Click here to assess your shoulder using Reflex Health


More on 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?