Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Shoulder Contusion Overview

What is a shoulder contusion?
A person with a shoulder contusion has a bruise near the shoulder joint. A contusion is a swollen collection of blood that forms when blood vessels are broken, due to an injury. The color of a bruise represents blood that leaked into the tissue beneath the skin. Mild injuries cause contusions in the tissues just beneath the skin; however, severe injuries can cause contusions in muscles or bone. The most common causes of shoulder contusions are falls and sports injuries.

What are the symptoms of a shoulder contusion?
Symptoms that may occur with a shoulder contusion include shoulder pain, swelling, tenderness or stiffness. The shoulder pain is usually worse with movement of the shoulder.

How does the doctor treat a shoulder contusion?
Treatment for a shoulder contusion may include rest, a sling, cold compresses, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.

Continue to Shoulder Contusion Symptoms

Last Updated: Jan 4, 2011 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Shoulder Contusion References
  1. Beiner JM, Jokl P. Muscle contusion injuries: current treatment options. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2001 Jul-Aug;9(4):227-37. [11476532]
  2. Berg E. Deep muscle contusion complicated by myositis ossificans (a.k.a. heterotopic bone). Orthop Nurs. 2000 Nov-Dec;19(6):66-7. [11899311]
  3. Centeno CJ, Freeman M, Elkins WL. A review of the literature refuting the concept of minor impact soft tissue injury. Pain Res Manag. 2005 Summer;10(2):71-4. [15915248]
  4. Guzman J, Yassi A, Cooper JE, Khokhar J. Return to work after occupational injury. Family physicians' perspectives on soft-tissue injuries. Can Fam Physician. 2002 Dec;48:1912-9. [12520791]
  5. Tull F, Borrelli J Jr. Soft-tissue injury associated with closed fractures: evaluation and management. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2003 Nov-Dec;11(6):431-8. [14686828]
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