Broken shoulder blade symptoms

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9/18/2017 9:47 AM

Hi
I can’t seem to find anything regarding this question. My shoulder blade is broken in half and my deltoid muscles are very painful when I try to lift my arm. Has anyone experienced this? I would think that the pain should be coming from my upper back and not directly coming from my shoulder muscles. My mri doesn’t really show any signs of shoulder muscle/tendon issues. 
Thank you for your help. 

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9/18/2017 9:57 AM

ryandavis wrote:

Hi
I can’t seem to find anything regarding this question. My shoulder blade is broken in half and my deltoid muscles are very painful when I try to lift my arm. Has anyone experienced this? I would think that the pain should be coming from my upper back and not directly coming from my shoulder muscles. My mri doesn’t really show any signs of shoulder muscle/tendon issues. 
Thank you for your help. 

Was your shoulder the main point of contact during (assuming here given the context) your crash that caused the break?

I ask because I am on the mend from a broken shoulder blade myself (happened in April, tagged a tree with my shoulder). Was misdiagnosed in the ER with a broken collarbone (the Dr. there thought a 10 year old previous break was a new one) and after multiple trips to the Ortho with x-rays, MRI and CT Scan he diagnosed an injury to the axillary nerve.

My pain was centered on shoulder/delts and I still have lingering numbness to the area. Also caused my delt and connected muscles to atrophy because the nerve wasn't firing.

Would bring this up with the Ortho the next time you see them. I had an EMG test that confirmed it. If that is the case, you'll want to find a solid physical therapy place to help get rehab started.

Best of luck getting healed up!

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9/18/2017 10:03 AM

ryandavis wrote:

Hi
I can’t seem to find anything regarding this question. My shoulder blade is broken in half and my deltoid muscles are very painful when I try to lift my arm. Has anyone experienced this? I would think that the pain should be coming from my upper back and not directly coming from my shoulder muscles. My mri doesn’t really show any signs of shoulder muscle/tendon issues. 
Thank you for your help. 

Steve Mac wrote:

Was your shoulder the main point of contact during (assuming here given the context) your crash that caused the break?

I ask because I am on the mend from a broken shoulder blade myself (happened in April, tagged a tree with my shoulder). Was misdiagnosed in the ER with a broken collarbone (the Dr. there thought a 10 year old previous break was a new one) and after multiple trips to the Ortho with x-rays, MRI and CT Scan he diagnosed an injury to the axillary nerve.

My pain was centered on shoulder/delts and I still have lingering numbness to the area. Also caused my delt and connected muscles to atrophy because the nerve wasn't firing.

Would bring this up with the Ortho the next time you see them. I had an EMG test that confirmed it. If that is the case, you'll want to find a solid physical therapy place to help get rehab started.

Best of luck getting healed up!

Yeah got sideways off a jump and landed right on my shoulder. How’s everything going for you now? How long did it take to resume normal daily routines? So I guess from what you’re saying is that the pain to be felt on the deltoid muscles is somewhat normal? thanks for helping me through this

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9/18/2017 10:09 AM

Two years ago I had a badly torn rotator cuff repaired, it was a long and painful recovery. But once through it, my shoulder was great, it was like new again. I then crashed last year and broke my scapula. That injury was just as painful and almost lasted as long. The strange thing was, that all the pain was in my shoulder. I swear I thought I destroyed my shoulder again. I thought the doctors had to be wrong, as it felt exactly like it did after my surgery. It actually never even hurt at all in the area where the bone was broken. I was lucky it was a non displaced break, I've read horror stories about scapula surgeries as they have to cut through thick muscle to get to it and this makes recovery tough. Good luck!

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9/18/2017 10:21 AM

hellion wrote:

Two years ago I had a badly torn rotator cuff repaired, it was a long and painful recovery. But once through it, my shoulder was great, it was like new again. I then crashed last year and broke my scapula. That injury was just as painful and almost lasted as long. The strange thing was, that all the pain was in my shoulder. I swear I thought I destroyed my shoulder again. I thought the doctors had to be wrong, as it felt exactly like it did after my surgery. It actually never even hurt at all in the area where the bone was broken. I was lucky it was a non displaced break, I've read horror stories about scapula surgeries as they have to cut through thick muscle to get to it and this makes recovery tough. Good luck!

Thank you for that. Ok so it sounds normal to have the pain there. I just can’t believe that there’s nothing wrong with my shoulder even though the MRI says it looks fine. I can feel a little pain where the break is but it’s really not that bad. The shoulder/deltoid pain is where it’s the worst. I’m very tempted to start working on increase range and motion, what do you think? It’s only been 11 days but I just don’t want the shoulder to get weak and require longer to get better.

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9/18/2017 10:51 AM

Don't do it. I set myself back quite a bit and ended up in a bunch of pain because I figured I could ride a road bike while recovering. In the second week I went out for a ride, it felt good and I had the day off so I put in almost 50 miles. I then spent the next two weeks in the worst pain, and also being unable to sleep. The doctors say it's one of if not the hardest bones to break, and usually have to check you out for other trauma if you present with a broken scapula. Take it easy, and you'll recovery faster with this particular injury.

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9/18/2017 11:13 AM

hellion wrote:

Don't do it. I set myself back quite a bit and ended up in a bunch of pain because I figured I could ride a road bike while recovering. In the second week I went out for a ride, it felt good and I had the day off so I put in almost 50 miles. I then spent the next two weeks in the worst pain, and also being unable to sleep. The doctors say it's one of if not the hardest bones to break, and usually have to check you out for other trauma if you present with a broken scapula. Take it easy, and you'll recovery faster with this particular injury.

Ok good to know. I just hate the idea of my arm wasting away while I wait it off. It would be really nice to move my arm without so much pain in my shoulder. Even if it’s just a little movement

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9/18/2017 11:23 AM

I broke mine about seven years ago and hairlined my skull. I saw white spots for a few days due to hitting my head. Took my mind off of the physical pain. I was 100 percent (shoulder blade) within months. Just make sure you don't overdue it. It could be detrimental in the long run (as any injury can). As far as the head injury....you cant fix stupid so I got screwed!

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9/18/2017 11:45 AM

ryandavis wrote:

Yeah got sideways off a jump and landed right on my shoulder. How’s everything going for you now? How long did it take to resume normal daily routines? So I guess from what you’re saying is that the pain to be felt on the deltoid muscles is somewhat normal? thanks for helping me through this

I've been back in the gym for 2 months (no heavy overhead lifting yet) but have yet to ride which is more due to personal circumstance (sold my bike to cover the ER bills/taking some time off from riding). Spent almost every week up until August at the PT doc at least 1x a week after going 2-3x per week from May to June.

At a decent enough range of motion that I can accomplish the tasks I need to like picking up my little ones and household chores. I have a daily stretching routing to keep the muscles loose and specific workouts I do at the gym to build strength back up and keep hitting the nerve to get it to come around.

It's entirely possible you just bruised the muscles in the area on impact and that's why you're still feeling pain there. As others have said, DO NOT push yourself without the guidance of a medial professional. Time and a rehab plan is what you need. I didn't start PT until a month after the injury and I was out of my sling.


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9/22/2017 5:51 PM

hellbillyohio wrote:

I broke mine about seven years ago and hairlined my skull. I saw white spots for a few days due to hitting my head. Took my mind off of the physical pain. I was 100 percent (shoulder blade) within months. Just make sure you don't overdue it. It could be detrimental in the long run (as any injury can). As far as the head injury....you cant fix stupid so I got screwed!

Good to hear it will get back to normal at some point. How does it feel now? Any limitations?

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9/22/2017 5:57 PM

Steve Mac wrote:

Was your shoulder the main point of contact during (assuming here given the context) your crash that caused the break?

I ask because I am on the mend from a broken shoulder blade myself (happened in April, tagged a tree with my shoulder). Was misdiagnosed in the ER with a broken collarbone (the Dr. there thought a 10 year old previous break was a new one) and after multiple trips to the Ortho with x-rays, MRI and CT Scan he diagnosed an injury to the axillary nerve.

My pain was centered on shoulder/delts and I still have lingering numbness to the area. Also caused my delt and connected muscles to atrophy because the nerve wasn't firing.

Would bring this up with the Ortho the next time you see them. I had an EMG test that confirmed it. If that is the case, you'll want to find a solid physical therapy place to help get rehab started.

Best of luck getting healed up!

ryandavis wrote:

Yeah got sideways off a jump and landed right on my shoulder. How’s everything going for you now? How long did it take to resume normal daily routines? So I guess from what you’re saying is that the pain to be felt on the deltoid muscles is somewhat normal? thanks for helping me through this

Steve Mac wrote:

I've been back in the gym for 2 months (no heavy overhead lifting yet) but have yet to ride which is more due to personal circumstance (sold my bike to cover the ER bills/taking some time off from riding). Spent almost every week up until August at the PT doc at least 1x a week after going 2-3x per week from May to June.

At a decent enough range of motion that I can accomplish the tasks I need to like picking up my little ones and household chores. I have a daily stretching routing to keep the muscles loose and specific workouts I do at the gym to build strength back up and keep hitting the nerve to get it to come around.

It's entirely possible you just bruised the muscles in the area on impact and that's why you're still feeling pain there. As others have said, DO NOT push yourself without the guidance of a medial professional. Time and a rehab plan is what you need. I didn't start PT until a month after the injury and I was out of my sling.


Thanks for all of that. Very insightful. What kind of stuff are you able to do at the gym? I was training a few times a week with decent weight and I’m skeptical that I might not be able to go back to doing pull ups or benching any worthy weight. Also when you move you arm does you shoulder muscles feel a little off? I mean when I lift my arm at certain angles it just feels like my muscles aren’t activating the way they should. Feels like other muscles are activating to try to compensate for the injury. It also feels like certain muscles are very tight and some of the ligaments are catching here and there. It’s kind a hard to explain

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9/22/2017 6:31 PM

Broke mine in July of 2013. I did the recovery thing for 8 weeks, then eased back into the gym and weight lifting. The shoulder and the entire area/muscles around the injury felt weird, and hurt for a couple months more. Then the strength started coming back, and normal range of motion came back. It just takes time.

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United States of America

9/22/2017 6:37 PM

Camp332 wrote:

Broke mine in July of 2013. I did the recovery thing for 8 weeks, then eased back into the gym and weight lifting. The shoulder and the entire area/muscles around the injury felt weird, and hurt for a couple months more. Then the strength started coming back, and normal range of motion came back. It just takes time.

How bad was the break?

Sounds very promising. Thanks for that. Do you think the harder you pushed your body, the better the results were? Are you back to your normal weights at the gym? Can you do most of the same exercises?

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9/22/2017 6:42 PM

Camp332 wrote:

Broke mine in July of 2013. I did the recovery thing for 8 weeks, then eased back into the gym and weight lifting. The shoulder and the entire area/muscles around the injury felt weird, and hurt for a couple months more. Then the strength started coming back, and normal range of motion came back. It just takes time.

ryandavis wrote:

How bad was the break?

Sounds very promising. Thanks for that. Do you think the harder you pushed your body, the better the results were? Are you back to your normal weights at the gym? Can you do most of the same exercises?

Had a bunch of cracks in the lower part of the scapula, and one nice sized chunk missing. Doctor let it heal for a week before deciding if a plate/screws were needed. Thankfully surgery wasn't needed.

All the same exercises, range of motion, and sick 1 rep max PR's everyday Bro.

You'll be fine.

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United States of America

9/22/2017 7:09 PM

Camp332 wrote:

Broke mine in July of 2013. I did the recovery thing for 8 weeks, then eased back into the gym and weight lifting. The shoulder and the entire area/muscles around the injury felt weird, and hurt for a couple months more. Then the strength started coming back, and normal range of motion came back. It just takes time.

ryandavis wrote:

How bad was the break?

Sounds very promising. Thanks for that. Do you think the harder you pushed your body, the better the results were? Are you back to your normal weights at the gym? Can you do most of the same exercises?

Camp332 wrote:

Had a bunch of cracks in the lower part of the scapula, and one nice sized chunk missing. Doctor let it heal for a week before deciding if a plate/screws were needed. Thankfully surgery wasn't needed.

All the same exercises, range of motion, and sick 1 rep max PR's everyday Bro.

You'll be fine.

BEST NEWS ALL DAY! Thanks man. Seriously thanks

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9/22/2017 7:27 PM

Broke mine about 10 years ago. I was a bozo and tried getting back on the bike 2 weeks later. It didn't work out well and I wouldn't recommend it obviously. It took about 8 weeks to heal though.

I still have pain in my whole right shoulder. It's kind of like a tingling burning sensation pretty much all the time. Actually sitting here typing this I can feel it. But I've also broken my shoulder 4 times. I go to the gym 5 days per week and shoulder day is obviously my least favorite. Rather than "bulking up" my shoulders I tend to do high rep low weight. It does help a lot compared to lifting heavy weights.

If it continues to bother you don't be afraid to seek physical therapy. I never did and I wish I had. My wife is a physical therapist and hearing the things she says, I could kick myself for not getting therapy.

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9/22/2017 8:12 PM

agn5009 wrote:

Broke mine about 10 years ago. I was a bozo and tried getting back on the bike 2 weeks later. It didn't work out well and I wouldn't recommend it obviously. It took about 8 weeks to heal though.

I still have pain in my whole right shoulder. It's kind of like a tingling burning sensation pretty much all the time. Actually sitting here typing this I can feel it. But I've also broken my shoulder 4 times. I go to the gym 5 days per week and shoulder day is obviously my least favorite. Rather than "bulking up" my shoulders I tend to do high rep low weight. It does help a lot compared to lifting heavy weights.

If it continues to bother you don't be afraid to seek physical therapy. I never did and I wish I had. My wife is a physical therapist and hearing the things she says, I could kick myself for not getting therapy.

How bad was the break? Mines a body fracture with a 14mm displacement.

Yeah it’s been two weeks since it happened and I just started riding but just on the cruiser to and from work. Not on the track yet. I don’t know how you did that.

How much weight are you doing for shoulders? Like 15lb lat raises? 30lb Arnold press? Something like that?
I wish my wife was a PT then she would give me a little credit for my pain.

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9/22/2017 9:55 PM

About 10 years ago I snapped mine clean in half ( Got hit in the back in the air by some clown that whiskey throttled his bike over a jump and let go of it ) 3 weeks after I rode around a parking lot for about 3 min . on week 4 I thought I could try and practice that lasted about 5 min and then I could not move for a week . week 5 I raced . 2 years ago I Destroyed the same shoulder at Mammoth ( wide open going up the uphill and got collected up in a huge pile up really have no clue what happened ) I have not even sat on a bike since . Will start riding again as soon as my 18 arrives .

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A big Thank you to FLY racing. OMA KTM. 100%. DT-1 Motorex and Bell helmets . Racing for you JG96

9/22/2017 10:15 PM

agn5009 wrote:

Broke mine about 10 years ago. I was a bozo and tried getting back on the bike 2 weeks later. It didn't work out well and I wouldn't recommend it obviously. It took about 8 weeks to heal though.

I still have pain in my whole right shoulder. It's kind of like a tingling burning sensation pretty much all the time. Actually sitting here typing this I can feel it. But I've also broken my shoulder 4 times. I go to the gym 5 days per week and shoulder day is obviously my least favorite. Rather than "bulking up" my shoulders I tend to do high rep low weight. It does help a lot compared to lifting heavy weights.

If it continues to bother you don't be afraid to seek physical therapy. I never did and I wish I had. My wife is a physical therapist and hearing the things she says, I could kick myself for not getting therapy.

ryandavis wrote:

How bad was the break? Mines a body fracture with a 14mm displacement.

Yeah it’s been two weeks since it happened and I just started riding but just on the cruiser to and from work. Not on the track yet. I don’t know how you did that.

How much weight are you doing for shoulders? Like 15lb lat raises? 30lb Arnold press? Something like that?
I wish my wife was a PT then she would give me a little credit for my pain.

Oh jeez I don't remember how bad the break was each time. About 10 years ago was the last one. Unfortunately I wasn't with my wife at the time of any of those incidents so it didn't help me none. Right now I do 25 lb lat raises 3 sets of 20. Arnold presses I do 45 lbs 3 sets of 20. Like I said, I don't light the world on fire with my shoulders. I probably do lift heavier weight at those higher reps than the average Joe but I hit the gym every day before work. My shoulders are without a doubt the weakest link on my body. I really don't care because it's not like I'm trying to be a body builder, just be in good shape.

Get yourself built up slowly in the gym after it's 100% healed. There's nothing wrong with using 5 lb weights and doing high reps to simply get that range of motion and stamina built back up.

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9/23/2017 3:51 AM

I broke my scapula in 3 places, although it was initially one of the most painful of all the busted bones I have had, it turned out to be one of the quickest healing ones. Get well soon

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9/23/2017 7:07 AM

Just if anyone is interested, heres what it looks like. Has anyone had similar or worse?Photo

Photo

Photo

Photo

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9/23/2017 7:11 AM

OR Racer46 wrote:

About 10 years ago I snapped mine clean in half ( Got hit in the back in the air by some clown that whiskey throttled his bike over a jump and let go of it ) 3 weeks after I rode around a parking lot for about 3 min . on week 4 I thought I could try and practice that lasted about 5 min and then I could not move for a week . week 5 I raced . 2 years ago I Destroyed the same shoulder at Mammoth ( wide open going up the uphill and got collected up in a huge pile up really have no clue what happened ) I have not even sat on a bike since . Will start riding again as soon as my 18 arrives .

Sorry to hear that. Im pretty new to riding dirtbikes so I can only blame myself for my ambition exceeding my talent. That just sucks for someone else to have caused all that to you. Did the other guy get hurt at all?

At wk5 when you raced how did it feel at that point? Im sure there was probably still pain but were you able to push it a good amount?

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9/23/2017 7:13 AM

swtwtwtw wrote:

I broke my scapula in 3 places, although it was initially one of the most painful of all the busted bones I have had, it turned out to be one of the quickest healing ones. Get well soon

Thank you, sounds like time is the recurring solution with this break, and sounds like I need to work on my impatientness :-(

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9/23/2017 8:01 AM

At the 5 week mark ,No I could not push it . But I needed 4 points to clinch a season long series and I would get a big 6 dollars plastic trophy . I was so proud of that

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A big Thank you to FLY racing. OMA KTM. 100%. DT-1 Motorex and Bell helmets . Racing for you JG96

9/23/2017 8:44 AM
Edited Date/Time: 9/23/2017 8:44 AM

Don't push too early and don't let it freeze up on you. If it does rehab could take a year. It's a fine line. Listen to your body. I've separated mine and prior to that I broke my acromium. They WILL freeze up and it takes a long time to break down all the adhesions

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9/23/2017 8:47 AM

swtwtwtw wrote:

I broke my scapula in 3 places, although it was initially one of the most painful of all the busted bones I have had, it turned out to be one of the quickest healing ones. Get well soon

ryandavis wrote:

Thank you, sounds like time is the recurring solution with this break, and sounds like I need to work on my impatientness :-(

Mine was nearly identical to yours, with 2 additional breaks. Yup, be patient.

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9/23/2017 8:54 AM

OR Racer46 wrote:

At the 5 week mark ,No I could not push it . But I needed 4 points to clinch a season long series and I would get a big 6 dollars plastic trophy . I was so proud of that

Haha. Nice.

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9/23/2017 9:08 AM

PFitzG38 wrote:

Don't push too early and don't let it freeze up on you. If it does rehab could take a year. It's a fine line. Listen to your body. I've separated mine and prior to that I broke my acromium. They WILL freeze up and it takes a long time to break down all the adhesions

Good to know. Yeah I’ve been working on range of motion exercises for 3x30min sessions a day. I push it until it hurts a little then push it just a tad bit more. I hope I’m not pushing too hard but here’s something interesting...
I got an X-ray the day it happened. The idiot doctor said all the bones were completely fine. For the next week I did a lot a lot of pushing my arm thinking it was the muscle or something. I even had a 45 min Rolfing session that targeted just my upper back right where my shoulder blade is. If you know what Rolfing is then you know that is probably the worst thing you could do with a broken bone. The Rolfing was done three days after the injury. So a week later after getting and mri to see if my tendons were the problem (they weren’t) the new doc said my scapula was broken. From then on a put it in a sling. A few days after that I saw surgeon who suggested not to get surgery and also took another X-ray. The X-ray looked identical to the first one the day it happened. I don’t know if that was a good thing to see that. It convinced me that despite pushing my shoulder as hard as I could with a very fresh break, that I couldn’t really do any further harm. Of course I’m not getting on the dirt until it feels really close to 100%. I have another appointment in two weeks for more X-rays. It should be interesting.

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