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Scapular Fractures

A scapula fracture is an uncommon injury. The scapula, or shoulder blade, is a wide, flat bone that sits behind the rib cage. The scapula connects to the clavicle (collar bone) in the front of the body, and to the humerus (arm bone) at the side. Part of the scapula is lined with cartilage (the glenoid) and forms the socket of the ball-and-socket shoulder joint.

Scapular fractures are uncommon (0.5% to 1 % of all fractures, 5% of shoulder fractures) and occur most often in 40- to 60­year-olds as a result of major trauma.


A scapular fracture may be caused by a fall, injury, or an accident (often car or motorcycle).

Sometimes, a blow from a blunt object or a collision of some sort can cause the scapulas to break.

Signs and symptoms

  • Local tenderness.
  • Usually resist abduction, as the first 90 degrees of abduction is largely scapulothoracic.
  • Pain
  • Feel weak or numb.
  • Your shoulder may bleed if the skin is broken.


he goal of treating broken bones is to set them, making them whole again.

A broken scapula usually requires a simple arm sling to be worn for about 1-2. Shortly after, patients may be able to begin mild exercises for the scapula and shoulder joint.

With more severe fractures of the scapula, surgeryis sometimes needed.

Other fractures may need 2 to 4 weeks of immobilization. Your shoulder may feel stiff when the doctor removes the sling. Begin limited active use of your shoulder immediately. Continue passive stretching exercises until complete shoulder motion returns. This may take 6 months to a year.


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