Your shoulder girdle comprises your collarbone (clavicle), your shoulder blade (scapula), your arm bone (humerus) and all the muscles and ligaments that support and move these bones. Injury to this area is fairly common. Thankfully, many injuries do not require surgery, but shoulder injuries can take a long time to recover from. Sometimes, surgery is the better option to allow a better functional outcome.
This section covers:
Proximal humerus fracture
Humeral Shaft Fracture
If you do not need surgery
If you require surgery
If you require fixation of your clavicle fracture, the most predictable treatment is to plate you broken bone
The majority of humeral fractures are managed without surgery
If you do need surgery
It is fairly common (10-20% of patients) for patients with a broken humerus to have signs of nerve injury in their arm. The radial nerve runs round the back of your arm bone and can get stretched or damaged by your humerus bone as it breaks. Injury to this nerve causes your wrist and fingers to droop and also numbness over the back of your thumb and hand. If your fracture is fixed, your surgeon will identify the nerve and confirm whether it is intact or not (it is normally intact but bruised). If you do not otherwise need surgery, a watch and wait policy is recommended for your nerve initially.
Thankfully an injured radial nerve recovers in 90% of cases, but this can take many months and you may need to wear a splint and have therapy until your movement returns. Your surgeon may order special nerve testing after a few weeks to confirm that your nerve is beginning to recover. Very occasionally the nerve doesn’t recover and surgery to restore function is then indicated.
Complications of humeral fracture surgery include:
Your shoulder blade is hard to break because it is covered in lots of protective muscle. Injury therefore involves significant force (e.g. car crash or fall from mountain bike). Other injuries commonly co-exist and may require hospitalisation (e.g.ribs/lungs). Most scapula fractures do not require surgery as it heals well in the majority of fracture patterns. Those few that do are indicated based on your functional demands, other injuries, health and the pattern of your fracture. If you do require surgery, this involves an incision over the back of your shoulder blade. Plates are applied to stabilise your scapula. You will rest your arm in a sling for a few weeks after surgery, before beginning more active movements.
Making the right choice about the best treatment for you means getting the right information. During your consultation, please do feel free to ask Mr Granville-Chapman to explain anything that you do not fully understand, and for his advice about the pros and cons of any treatment.
Mr Granville-Chapman was very polite and his examination and explanation of my symptoms and expected treatment was thorough
I found Mr Granville-Chapman to be very knowledgeable and professional. He put me very much at ease and explained all the options that I have thoroughly. He also told me to look for further information on the condition and procedures that I needed on his website, which gave lots of information and detail. It was also easy to understand for those without a medical background. I would highly recommend his services to anyone that has shoulder problems and requires a solution.
I attended for a repair of my right bicep tendon. After a thorough examination, Mr Granville-Chapman arranged an operation to be undertaken within 2 days which was extremely quick; he explained his reasoning which was both thorough and reassuring, explaining both the options of undergoing surgery and deciding to undertake conservative management.On the day of the surgery Mr Granville-Chapman was again very reassuring as although this is minor surgery I was still somewhat apprehensive. He came to fully explain the procedure and afterI woke up was quick to check on how I was doing.Overall I am very happy with the careMr Granville-Chapman
I have been very pleased with my treatment so far. Mr Granville-Chapman combines brisk efficiency with a pleasant, sympathetic manner. My operation, however, is still to come ...
From the initial consultation, through surgery on a fractured wrist, and now post-operative follow up, it has been a very positive and reassuring experience with Mr Granville-Chapman. I would have no hesitation in recommending him to someone else.
A first class clinician. A skilled surgeon with an excellent bedside manner.
A very pleasant Consultant who knows exactly how to make pain go away.
Mr Granville - Chapman has an excellent bedside manner. He engaged with my 12 year old son at an appropriate level and took the time to ensure that he understood the procedure and answer all his questions. He is thoroughly professional and I would not hesitate to recommend him.
I have been very pleased with the attention I have received. Mr. Granville-Chapman has reassured me that my symptoms are normal. It is very easy to make appointments that suit me.
Mr Granville chapman I found be caring informative and professional I would recommend him to all if you have a problem don't hesitate to contact him you won't be disappointed.
I recently broke my right clavicle in a mountain bike accident and it was repaired by Mr Granville-Chapman by adding a plate on top of the bone. Having just finished the last post-op consultation, I can confirm that I have been very happy with the process all along. In particular, Jeremy took time to explain in detail why a plate was needed, what the procedure would entail, and also was very patient answering my questions comprehensively beforehand and after during the recovery phase. Would certainly trust this competent surgeon to fix any future fractures I might sustain.
Mr Granville-Chapman has looked after my 15 year old son brilliantly, explaining the surgery, recovery and best way forward, and Kate has been very supportive helping with logistics etc, thank you so much.
So far my experience with Mr Jeremy Granville-Chapman has been personal and informative with regard to the operation I will be having. I feel confident that my operation will be a success and for this reason I am very happy to have Mr Jeremy Granville-Chapman as my consultant.
Very knowledgeable and helpful. Takes the time to make sure you're getting the treatment you need.
Mr Jeremy Granville -Chapman is not only a highly skilled consultant but is able to put you straight away at ease .My appointments were arranged very swiftly which was great, when you are experiencing severe pain. I am very happy with my treatment so far . many thanks to everyone who was involved in my treatment.
Polite, helpful, professional. Makes an effort to ensure full understanding of issues and procedures to be done. Highly satisfied
Very pleasant. Clear, careful explanations & options/possibilities. I feel well informed, and happy that my concerns are being well addressed, with a plan of review of the symptoms.
Excellent advise with everything explained clearly and a successful treatment which has benefited be greatly.
Spire Thames Valley hospital
Wexham Street, Wexham, Buckinghamshire, SL3 6NH
Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, Berkshire, SL2 4HL
BMI The Princess Margaret Hospital
Osborne Rd, Windsor SL4 3SJ