Fractures of the Shoulder Blade (Scapula)

Overview

This condition is a break of the scapula, the large, flat, triangular bone that contains the shoulder socket. Because the scapula is well protected by the muscles of the shoulder, scapula fractures are uncommon.

Causes

Most scapula fractures are caused by severe trauma, such as from a fall or a motorcycle accident. In many cases, when the scapula is fractured, other bones such as ribs or the spine may be fractured at the same time.

Symptoms

Symptoms of a scapula fracture include bruising, swelling and severe pain when the arm is moved. If broken bone shifts out of place, it may push against the skin of the shoulder and form a bump.

Treatment

In most cases, scapula fractures can be treated non-surgically with a sling. If the bone is shifted or fails to heal properly, surgery may be necessary.

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