Our shoulders handle vital functions, including permitting the normal range of motion to our arms and hands. But they’re also responsible for such physical actions as lifting, pushing and pulling. As such, when our shoulders are injured it can greatly affect our ability to do every day activities.
Have you or a loved one suffered a shoulder fracture or a related shoulder injury? If so, you can trust the qualified team of orthopaedic specialists at the Florida Hospital Orthopaedic Institute Fracture Care Center (FCC). Our team can diagnose and treat all manner of shoulder conditions.
The Shoulder in Profile
The shoulders actually encompass multiple connective tissues, including three bones: the collarbone (“clavicle”), shoulder blade (“scapula”), and the upper arm bone (“humerus”). In addition, there are related muscles, ligaments and tendons. “White” (“articular”) cartilage is found on the ends of bones. This enables the bone’s top to glide and move on each other; when it deteriorates, arthritis can develop. “Labrum,” the other type of cartilage, is more fibrous or rigid, and is only found around sockets.
But it is the shoulders’ joints (“glenohumeral”) that are particularly prone to problems, as they connect the shoulders to the arms. For shoulder fracture treatment, joint replacement and reconstruction surgeries are common.
Qualifying for Joint Replacements/Reconstructions
Not surprisingly, shoulder joint replacements and reconstructions are among the FCC’s most common surgical procedures. FCC surgeons prefer the minimally invasive surgical treatment of shoulder conditions, because their patient’s can expect a quicker recovery and return to their normal lifestyle.
Before being considered, our physicians and medical staff thoroughly evaluate potential candidates to decide on the best course of treatment. Should patients qualify, only skilled, experienced surgeons can properly perform the procedure.
You’ll find a detailed overview of the treatments performed at the Fracture Care Center for shoulder joint reconstructive and replacement surgery procedures. Do you feel that joint replacements or reconstructions would improve your quality of life? If so, contact the Fracture Care Center.
As our shoulders continually provide the upper body with a full range of motion and physical movements, it’s not surprising for injuries and/or conditions to develop. As such, patients should consult with surgeons with unique breadth of orthopaedic experience. The Florida Hospital Orthopaedic Institute Fracture Care Center (FCC) is a leading destination for shoulder fracture treatment.
Under the leadership of J. Dean Cole, MD, the Center’s Medical Director, patients are quickly diagnosed and treated for all manner of shoulder conditions. Drs Cole, Vickaryous, and Hawks specialize in minimally invasive surgery, which eliminates large incisions. As such, patients’ bones and soft tissues are continually supplied with blood and spared further injury. This improves the healing process, and reduces infections and complications.
Dr. Cole considered a pioneer in orthopaedic medicine, has invented a wide array of devices and applications utilized by surgeons worldwide. Of particular interest to shoulder injuries is one invention, the “proximal humeral nail.”
Typically, shoulder-related fractures and injuries are difficult to address, as the complex system bones, muscles, joints and tissue require a continuous blood supply. The rotator cuff must be maintained to allow early motion, even as soft tissue must be left to function normally. However, the implantation of Dr. Cole’s proximal humeral nail offers normal healing process, stability and compatibility when compared with the traditional open approach.
If you’ve suffered a shoulder fracture or related injury, it’s crucial to consult with the Florida Hospital Fracture Care Center. These qualified orthopaedic specialists in Orlando will address all questions and concerns about the available shoulder-related procedures performed at the Center, please contact us.
Shoulder Fractures & Dislocation
The shoulder is made up of multiple components; the upper end of the humerus, the shoulder blade, and the clavicle. This means that there are more parts susceptible to fractures and dislocations, whether due to high-energy accidents or relatively simple falls. With simpler injuries, rest and time may enable healing; physical therapy may also address stiffness and weakness.
However, more complex fractures and dislocations demand that the Fracture Care Center’s experienced orthopaedic surgeons to evaluate and make shoulder fracture treatment recommendations. Dr. Cole and his fellow surgeons can perform minimally invasive procedures, including arthroscopic procedures for rotator cuff tears and shoulder dislocation. Our physicians’ background and experience as experienced orthopaedic trauma surgeons allow them to better diagnose and treat shoulder fracture concerns that are more complex.
Proximal Humerus Fractures
Fractures involving the humerus (upper arm) are very common, and represent one of the Center’s leading surgical procedures. Some fractures are simple, and only require rest; a sling may relieve pain during healing. But more severe fractures, such as humerus fractures, may require surgery in order to put the fracture fragments back in place. Surgeons may even need to replace dramatically damaged parts of the humerus (“shoulder replacement”).
The FCC surgeons have the experience and skill to evaluate each case individually and recommend treatment plans specific to patients’ injuries. Specifically, they perform minimally invasive open reduction and internal fixation procedures of moderate to complex fractures. Various proprietary devices and tools created by Dr. Cole are utilized, including intramedullary nails, and multiple plates and screws. The specific equipment is dependent on the fracture’s characteristics, as well as the quality of the bone (osteoporosis is associated with shoulder injuries).
At the Fracture Care Center, clavicle (collar bone) fractures are among the more common injuries addressed. While simple shoulder fracture treatment options may include slings or braces to relieve pain during bone healing, more complex shoulder-related injuries may call for surgery. In particular, our physicians advise surgery when broken bone fragments from the clavicle have moved considerably, or have injured the skin, lungs or blood vessels. Procedures may also be performed when multiple broken pieces shorten the clavicle, thereby affecting the shoulder’s actual shape.
Patients who need to return to regular activities as soon as possible, such as professional athletes, may require prompt surgical attention. Regardless of the injury’s cause or the patient’s needs, the Center assesses each case individually, and recommends surgery when necessary.
Acromioclavicular joint dislocations, or “shoulder separations,” commonly occur after a fall onto the shoulder, or if an outstretched arm is involved. While different degrees of injury are possible, surgery is often necessary. These dislocations may require reconstructions of the damaged ligaments, which are technically demanding.
In some cases, surgery may be required. Depending on the grade of the injury, the Center’s surgeons perform minimally invasive surgery. The surgeons employ a unique cable that actually holds the affected ligaments in place. These procedures may be performed. This cable imparts a stable, secure method to repair the separated shoulder bones. Typically, orthopaedic procedures for fractures and separations may require additional surgery to remove any hardware, such as fixed screws. However, Dr. Cole’s cable mechanism eliminates the need for additional procedures.
Shoulder Blade Fractures
The shoulder blade (“scapula”), which has a complex shape, actually forms the shoulder joint. When this component is broken, bone fragments can become displaced, thereby affecting joint function. These “intraarticular” injuries may require surgery if the fragments are moved apart or are impacted. Typically, scapula fractures are caused by high-energy injuries.
Regardless of the severity, multiple scapula fractures may indicate the need for surgery. For example, two or more unstable shoulder fractures (known as a “floating shoulder”) are a surgical matter. And like other shoulder fractures, injuries affecting the lungs or blood vessels may require surgery, as well.
For further information, please contact us.
Larry: Motocrossing to the Finish Line
At age 72, Larry is living a more extreme life than many his age. He is a nationally recognized Motocross rider, who has been racing and jumping in this sport for more than 10 years. It was during a short practice race in February 2006 that Larry had a serious accident. During a 20 foot jump he quickly maneuvered to miss a fellow rider causing him to crash. His 20 foot fall threw him over a barrier, shattering his shoulder and splitting the arm by his socket.
Larry’s orthopedist said he did not know how to repair his arm. It was a nurse in the physician’s office who recommended Dr. Cole and the Fracture Care Center. Dr. Cole saw Larry a few weeks after his initial injury and quickly performed minimally invasive surgery to repair the fractured shoulder and arm. The intricate surgery included the placement of a humeral nail, Dr. Cole’s own invention, extending from the top of Larry’s shoulder to his elbow.
Only six weeks following surgery, Larry was practicing his beloved Motocross. Today, Larry can’t even tell he fractured his shoulder so badly. He has full range of motion and can enjoy his extreme and active lifestyle. Grateful to Dr. Cole and the Fracture Care Center team, Larry will continue racing and jumping for many years to come.