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Bruise on Shoulder (4 Days Old)
Bruise on Forearm
First Aid - Bleeding Arm
First Aid - R.I.C.E.
X-Ray - Shoulder Dislocation
First Aid - Sling - How to Put On
First Aid - Splint for Wrist Injury
X-Ray - Normal Shoulder
- Injuries to a bone, muscle, joint or ligament in the shoulder
Types of Shoulder Injuries
- Fractures (broken bones)
- Dislocations (bone out of joint)
- Sprains - stretches and tears of ligaments
- Strains - stretches and tears of muscles (e.g., pulled muscle)
- Muscle overuse injuries from sports or exercise (e.g., strain, bursitis, tendonitis)
- Muscle bruise from a direct blow (e.g., contusion)
- Causes extrinsic to shoulder (referred pain) - Examples include neck pain, cardiac disease, abdominal disorders, spleen injury
If not, see these topics
FIRST AID Advice for Bleeding: Apply direct pressure to the entire wound with a clean cloth.
FIRST AID Advice for Penetrating Object: If penetrating object still in place, don't remove it (Reason: removal could increase bleeding).
FIRST AID Advice for Shock: Lie down with feet elevated.
FIRST AID Advice for Suspected Fracture or Dislocation of the Shoulder:
- Use a sling to support the arm. Make the sling with a triangular piece of cloth.
- Or, at the very least, the patient can support the injured arm with the other hand or a pillow.
|Call 911 Now (you may need an ambulance) If|
- Major bleeding (actively dripping or spurting) that can't be stopped
- Amputation or bone sticking through the skin
|Call Your Doctor Now (night or day) If|
- You think you have a serious injury
- Injury looks like a broken bone or dislocated joint (crooked or deformed)
- Can't move injured shoulder at all
- Collar bone is painful or tender to touch
- Severe pain
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
- You think you need to be seen
- Can't move injured shoulder normally (e.g., full range of motion, able to touch top of head)
- There is a large swelling or bruise (wider than 2 inches) at the site of the injury
- You are over age 54, have osteoporosis, or use steroid medications routinely
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
- You have other questions or concerns
- Injury interferes with work or school
- Pain has not improved after 3 days
- Injury is still painful or swollen after 2 weeks
|Self Care at Home If|
- Minor shoulder injury and you don't think you need to be seen
HOME CARE ADVICE FOR MINOR SHOULDER INJURY
And remember, contact your doctor if you develop any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
- Treatment of a Bruise (e.g., direct blow to shoulder):
- Apply a cold pack or an ice pack (wrapped in a moist towel) to the area with ice for 20 minutes each hour for 4 consecutive hours (i.e., 20 minutes of cooling followed by 40 minutes of rest for 4 hours in a row).
- Rest the injured part as much as possible for 48 hours.
- 48 hours after the injury, use local heat for 10 minutes 3 times each day to help reabsorb the blood.
- Treatment of Sprains and Strains:
- FIRST AID - Apply an ice pack (crushed ice in a plastic bag covered with a moist towel) to reduce bleeding, swelling, and pain.
- Continue to apply crushed ICE packs for 10-20 minutes every hour for the first 4 hours. Then apply ice for 10-20 minutes 4 times a day for the first 2 days.
- REST the injured shoulder for 24 hours. You may return to normal activity after 24 hours of rest if the activity does not cause pain.
- Pain Medication:
- For pain relief, take acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
- Acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol): The dose is 650 mg by mouth every 4 hours or 1000 mg by mouth every 6 hours. Maximum dose per day = 4000 mg.
- Ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin, Advil): The dose is 400 mg by mouth every 6 hours or 600 mg by mouth every 8 hours.
- People who are over 65 Years of age: Acetaminophen is generally considered safer than ibuprofen. Acetaminophen dosing interval should be increased to every 8 hours because of reduced liver metabolism. Maximum dose per day = 3000 mg.
- CAUTION: Do not take ibuprofen if you have stomach problems, kidney disease, are pregnant, or have been told by your doctor to avoid this type of anti-inflammatory drug. Do not take ibuprofen for more than 7 days without consulting your doctor.
- CAUTION: Do not take acetaminophen if you have liver disease.
- Read the package instructions thoroughly on all medications that you take.
- Expected Course: Pain and swelling usually begin to improve 2 or 3 days after an injury. Swelling is usually gone in 7 days. Pain may take 2 weeks to completely resolve.
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Pain becomes severe
- Pain does not improve after 3 days
- Pain or swelling lasts more than 2 weeks
- You become worse
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: David A. Thompson, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 1/19/2009
Last Revised: 12/24/2008
Content Set: Adult HouseCalls Online
Portions Copyright 2000-2009 Self Care Decisions LLC; Copyright LMS, Inc.