How Long Does It Take To Recover From A Broken Shoulder

A broken shoulder, while relatively rare, can be very painful and may require surgery as well as medical care. If you’ve fractured your shoulder you will be in pain, so talk to your doctor right away and get treatment.

The goal of treatment is to restore motion and functionality to your arm and shoulder. Physical therapy and supervised exercises, tailored to your needs, are vital to optimize recovery.

Symptoms Of A Broken Shoulder

Pain, swelling, and bruising may occur around a fractured shoulder blade. You’ll find it very painful to move the arm in any way, and to lift it will be impossible.

Other symptoms include difficulty breathing due to movement of the chest wall with each breath. Breathing causes movement of the shoulder blade resulting in pain. A broken shoulder will also make your shoulder appear flattened or deformed. Call a doctor if you’ve had a fall and injured your shoulder area or upper back.

Women with a broken shoulder on grey background

Recovery From A Broken Shoulder

Recovery very much depends on the severity of the fracture, the nature of any other injuries, and your overall health. It may take longer to recover if you’ve had to have surgery to nail or plate bones together.

Age is also a relevant factor—it takes longer for bones and tissue to mend in older people. On average, though, recovery from a broken shoulder may take around six weeks.

Exercises designed to improve the range of shoulder motion normally begin about a week after the injury. Delaying physical therapy too long can lead to a loss of motion called “frozen shoulder”. Regular movement of your arm will help alleviate stiffness and speed up your recovery.

Treatment Options

While a broken shoulder blade may not require surgery, you will need specialist medical care to ensure proper healing. Initial treatment may involve application of an ice pack may help reduce swelling. Immobilization of the arm and shoulder, along with medication for pain relief, are important in the early recovery period. Talk to your doctor to find out about the gradual tapering of pain medication and any possible side effects.

Meanwhile, a physical therapist will design a series of individualized exercises to gradually improve shoulder mobility. Follow instructions, avoid potential trauma while recovering, take things slowly, and don’t try to overdo it.

Fairview Rehab & Nursing Home in Queens, NY, has great facilities and physical therapy equipment. We offer outpatient and inpatient physical therapy and other medical care, including occupational therapy. Our welcoming, multilingual and experienced therapists and nurses will help speed your recovery from a broken shoulder.