Glenoid Fracture

A glenoid fracture is an injury to the socket in the shoulder blade that holds the head of the humerus (the bone in the upper arm). When a glenoid fracture occurs, the head of the humerus slips out of the socket, causing severe pain and immobility.


Glenoid fractures are rare and are usually caused by severe trauma from car accidents, falls, and high-impact sports activities.


Symptoms of a glenoid fracture often include intense pain, swelling, bruising, and the inability to move the arm. A grinding sensation may be felt if the arm is able to move. Broken bones that shift out of place can develop a bump or deformity.


In order to diagnose a glenoid fracture, physicians will ask about symptoms and perform a thorough physical exam. Imaging tests such as x-rays may be used to identify the fracture and its severity.


Non-displaced glenoid fractures can usually be treated by immobilizing the arm with a sling. However, fractures that result in displaced bones may require surgery to correct the injury with plates or screws. Physical therapy is also successful in improving range of motion and strength after the arm heals.

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