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Shoulder Fracture

Ongoing health issues following a shoulder fracture can include chronic pain, stiffness, and reduced range of motion, which may hinder daily activities and decrease quality of life. Arthritis is a common long-term complication, particularly if the fracture affects the joint surface. Some individuals may experience weakness or instability in the shoulder, leading to frequent dislocations. Additionally, nerve or blood vessel damage around the injury site can result in numbness or circulatory problems.

Shoulder fracture X-ray

Helpful Information

A shoulder fracture refers to a break in any of the bones that make up the shoulder area—usually the clavicle (collarbone), scapula (shoulder blade), or the proximal humerus (top part of the upper arm bone). This injury can result from direct impacts such as falls, sports injuries, or accidents. Symptoms typically include severe pain, swelling, bruising, and limited ability to move the shoulder. Treatment depends on the specific bone fractured and the severity but may involve immobilisation with a sling, physical therapy, or, in more severe cases, surgery to properly realign and stabilise the bones.

What are the different types of shoulder fractures?

Fractures of bones in the shoulder area include:

  • Clavicle Fractures – The most common type of shoulder fracture, usually occurring from a fall onto the shoulder or an outstretched hand, or from a direct blow.
  • Proximal Humerus Fractures – These involve the top part of the upper arm bone, close to the shoulder joint. They are more common in older adults due to osteoporosis.
  • Scapula Fractures – These are relatively rare due to the protective muscle cover around the shoulder blade. They usually result from high-energy trauma, such as a car accident or a significant fall.

Each type of fracture varies in severity and can range from simple, where the bone pieces are well-aligned, to complex fractures that involve multiple fragments or damage to the joint surface.

What sort of accidents in the workplace can lead to a shoulder fracture?

Workplace accidents include slips, trips, and falls, particularly from heights or on slippery surfaces. Other common causes include vehicle-related incidents, heavy machinery accidents, or falling objects striking the shoulder. Repetitive strain or overexertion during manual tasks can also result in stress fractures. Industries with a higher risk of such injuries include construction, manufacturing, and warehousing. Effective safety measures, such as proper training, use of personal protective equipment, and adherence to safety protocols, are essential to minimise the risk of shoulder fractures in the workplace.

What sort of accidents in public places can lead to this injury?

Shoulder fractures in public places frequently result from falls on hard surfaces, such as slipping on ice or tripping on uneven pavement. High-impact sports or recreational activities in public parks or sports facilities, like skateboarding or cycling, also contribute to these injuries. Accidents involving collisions, such as car crashes or pedestrian incidents, are other common causes. Moreover, impacts from falling objects, such as construction materials or store merchandise, can cause shoulder fractures. Ensuring public areas are well-maintained and adhering to safety guidelines during activities can help reduce the risk of such injuries.

When is it possible to bring a compensation claim?

You can bring a compensation claim when you’ve suffered an injury or loss due to someone else’s negligence or failure to uphold legal duties. This includes workplace injuries, accidents in public places, or violent assaults. To succeed, you must demonstrate that the injury was directly caused by negligence or wrongful actions, and that it resulted in quantifiable damages such as medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering. It’s advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury solicitor for help with bringing your claim.

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wears multiple hats, not only as the managing partner of one of Ireland’s leading law firms, but also as an author, speaker and an acknowledged expert in client service, innovation and marketing.

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is a seasoned solicitor with almost 20 years of experience, specialises in personal injury and medical negligence claims, focusing particularly on high-value compensation cases. His extensive litigation experience spans Circuit Court, High Court and Supreme Court levels.

John's practice involves a diverse range of cases, from personal injury and wrongful death to property damage, defective products, professional negligence and judicial reviews.
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