What is a Shoulder Fracture?

  • The shoulder blade (scapula) is a triangular-shaped bone that is protected by a complex system of surrounding muscles
  • The fracture is usually caused by high-energy, blunt trauma injuries, or falling from a significant height
  • Other injuries often accompany scapular fractures, such as fractures in the shoulder, collarbone and ribs, or damage to the head, lungs, or spinal cord

The shoulder blade (scapula) is a triangular-shaped bone that is protected by a complex system of surrounding muscles. Scapula fractures are rare and many of them can be treated without surgery.

Blunt trauma or high-energy injuries, such as a motorcycle or motor vehicle collision or a fall from a significant height, can cause a scapula fracture. Often other injuries occur at along with a scapular fractures, such as fractures in the shoulder, collarbone and ribs, or damage to the head, lungs, or spinal cord.

Causes

One or more parts of the scapula may be fractured.

  • Scapular body (50% to 60% of patients)
  • Scapular neck (25% of patients)
  • Glenoid
  • Acromion
  • Coracoid

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of a scapula fracture include:

  • Extreme pain when you move the arm
  • Swelling around the back of the shoulder
  • Scrapes around the affected area.