Scapular fractures are uncommon but do occur and require a large amount of force to fracture. They are usually the result of intense trauma, such as a high speed motor vehicle accident or a fall from height onto one’s back. They can also occur from a fall on an outstretched arm if the humeral head impacts on the glenoid cavity.
Symptoms of a scapular fracture can include the following:
Scapular Fractures should be evaluated by an Orthopaedic surgeon for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Conservative Treatment Options
Most scapular fractures are not significantly displaced due to the strong supporting soft tissue structures surrounding it. Therefore, a majority of scapular fractures are treated conservatively and with early motion to reduce the risk of stiffness and will usually heal without affecting shoulder movement. The conservative treatment options include:
Fractures of the scapula involving the neck or glenoid or with severe displacement have been associated with poor outcomes when treated non-operatively. Scapula fracture repair can be performed through a minimally invasive approach. Minimally invasive ORIF (open reduction internal fixation) surgery uses smaller incisions than a traditional “open” surgery. Minimally invasive incisions are limited to where surgical plates will be placed instead of a traditional incision which can be large. The benefits of minimally invasive surgery include smaller incisions, faster healing, a more rapid recovery, and less scarring.