Fractures of the Greater Tuberosity

Overview

This condition is a fracture of the bony bump that is located opposite of the head of the humerus. This type of fracture can interfere with the rotator cuff.

Causes

Fractures of the greater tuberosity are often caused by direct trauma to the shoulder. A person who falls with an outstretched arm may experience this fracture. Osteoporosis, a weakening of the bones that commonly occurs in the elderly, can increase a person's risk for this type of fracture.

Symptoms

Symptoms can include pain and swelling of the shoulder. The fracture may interfere with a person's ability to move the shoulder.

Treatment

Treatment options depend on the severity of the fracture. If the bones have not moved out of position, the arm may be put in a sling. The patient may be treated with rest, ice and anti-inflammatory medications, and, after the shoulder heals, physical therapy. For fractures that result in the bones moving out of position, surgery may be needed to make sure the shoulder heals correctly.

© 2012 Swarm Interactive, Inc.