Fractures of the scapula.
The scapula plays an integral role in the association among the upper extremity and the axial skeleton. The annual incidence of scapula fractures is estimated at 10 per 100,000 inhabitants. Fractures of the scapula typically result from a high energy blunt-force mechanism. Motor vehicle collisions account for the majority of scapular fractures with 50% occurring in occupants of motor vehicles and 20% in pedestrians struck by motor vehicles.
Scapular fractures have the potential to cause significant pain and to alter normal function of the shoulder girdle as a result of malunion, nonunion, rotator cuff dysfunction, scapulothoracic dyskinesis, or impingement.The earliest opportunity to diagnose a scapular fracture may be on the initial routine supine anteroposterior chest radiograph taken in most trauma patients. A computed tomography (CT) scan is recommended for complex fractures and for fractures with significant displacement. Typical physical examination findings may include swelling, ecchymosis, crepitus, and tenderness about the shoulder.
More recent research has shown that over 90% of scapular fractures are nondisplaced or minimally displaced and can be effectively managed with conservative treatment. Scapular fractures can be classified descriptively based on their geographic location within the scapula: glenoid fossa, scapular neck, or scapular body. Current research focuses on comparing nonoperative versus operative treatment for specific types of scapular fractures. Hence, the operative indications for scapular fractures continue to be the subject of significant debate > From: Voleti et al. Adv Orthop (2012) 903850. All rights reserved to The Author(s), distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License.
Study the free full text article for more information and images about diagnostics, classification, and treatment of scapular fractures.
Read more about the Scapula Fracture Classification system with subgroups to get a clear picture which fractures can occur.
Test: Can you think of the anatomical names to the corresponding numbers in the scapular image below? The answers can be found underneath the picture.
1) coracoid proces
2) scapular notch
3) superior border
4) superior angle
5) medial border
6) inferior angle
7) subscapular fossa
8) lateral border
9) scapular neck
10) glenoid fossa