Shoulder injury comes in a variety of flavors. Sometimes it develops insidiously from wear and tear; and sometimes it comes for acute shoulder injury. The Buffalo Bills have been severely bitten by the injury bug as of late. Not only have they lost running back Fred Jackson to a groin injury, they have also lost fellow backfield mate C.J. Spiller to injury, in the same game no less. While Fred Jackson is likely to return in about four weeks, C.J. Spiller is likely done for the season. C.J. Spiller got tripped up from behind and fell hard onto his left shoulder at the tail end of a 52-yard run. He immediately reached for his left collarbone.
The clavicle, more commonly known as the collarbone, connects the arm to the body and is located between the rib cage and shoulder blade. As with the case of C.J. Spiller, broken clavicles are typically caused by a direct blow to the shoulder. A broken clavicle can cause extreme pain, sagging shoulder, inability to lift arm, grinding sensations, deformity, bruising, and swelling.Diagnosing a broken clavicle can typically be done via a physical examination; however, x-rays are taken to determine the location and severity of the break. Occasionally an orthopedic physician will also order a CT scan as well to get a better look at the broken bone.This injury can heal completely witho
ut surgery as long as the bones are not out of place. Non-surgical treatment typically involves the use of an arm sling and pain medication at first. Once the pain has been reduced and the bone begins to heal, gentle shoulder and elbow exercises can be used to prevent stiffness and weakness. Eventually, after follow-up x-rays reveal that the bone has completely healed, you can start doing more strenuous exercises.If the bones of the clavicle are out of place and not properly aligned, surgery may be required to assure proper healing. The orthopedic surgeon will manipulate the bones to get them into proper alignment. Once aligned, plates, screws, or pins can be utilized to hold the bone in place while it is healing. Pins are removed after healing, while screws and plates are typically kept in unless there is discomfort associated with them. As with any surgical procedure, there can be complications such as infection, bleeding, pain, hardware irritation, and nerve damage. Following successful surgery the recovery is much the same as the non-surgical method of treatment.