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Recovery & Support for Shoulder & Elbow Fractures

Recovery from a fractured shoulder or elbow can sometimes take months, and NYU Langone doctors and specialists are committed to helping you remain as comfortable and mobile as possible as you heal.

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Pain Medication

NYU Langone’s dedicated team of pain management specialists is available to assist you 24 hours a day. Your doctor can refer you to a specialist to manage any pain while you pursue nonsurgical treatment for a shoulder or elbow fracture. 

If you’ve had surgery, a pain management specialist visits you immediately after the procedure. Pain medication can help you to feel well enough to begin physical therapy, which is a vital part of recovery from a fractured shoulder or elbow.

Our doctors often recommend over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen. They advise people to avoid nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, including ibuprofen and naproxen, because these medications may slow the healing process. 

If you experience significant pain, your doctor can prescribe a stronger pain reliever to take during the week or two after the injury. 

Physical Therapy

NYU Langone’s highly trained team of physicians and therapists at Rusk Rehabilitation has experience helping people recover from joint fractures. They can show you simple exercises that can increase flexibility, strengthen muscles, and rebuild range of motion in your shoulder and elbow. Physical therapy can help you recover strength and motion more quickly, and can also help your joint stay strong, reducing the risk of another injury.

Physical therapy can begin as soon as your doctor determines that your fractured bone is stable. This may be within days of an injury if the fracture doesn’t require surgery. 

If you’ve had surgery, doctors recommend gentle range of motion exercises in uninjured parts of the arm to preserve motion and keep muscles strong. 

You can do your physical therapy at NYU Langone, or your surgeon can refer you to an in-network therapist located closer to your home.

Our Research and Education in Shoulder and Elbow Fractures

Learn more about our research and professional education opportunities.