Scapula Fractures

The shoulder consists of bones, ligaments and tendons. The most common bones to fracture in the shoulder is the Humerus, Glenoid, Scapula and Clavicle.

Fractures are usually caused by injuries which can include falls, sport injuries or trauma due to traffic accidents. With scapula fractures you will be in a considerable amount of pain as this is a very rare fracture.

This will be made with an x-ray. A scapular fracture is a fracture of the scapula, the shoulder blade. The scapula is sturdy and located in a protected place, so it rarely breaks. When it does, it is an indication that the individual was subjected to a considerable amount of force and that severe chest trauma may be present.

Because scapula fracture are less than 1% of all fractures, treating a Scapula fracture depends on several factors, including the type of fracture and whether there are any loose bone fragments. If you have a non-displaced meaning that the bones align even with the fracture (this can include hairline fractures) – you may be treated conservatively in a sling. The sling will be worn for 6 weeks where after an x-ray will be taken to see if acceptable bone formation and healing has taken place. If you have a displaced fracture, in other words if the bones are not aligning properly, you will require surgery to align and keep the bones aligned for healing.

Under general anaesthesia, and Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF) is done. An incision is made and depending on the type of fracture, usually a plate and screws will be fixated to align the bones for healing.

You will be sent home with pain medication to help with pain relief. You will be required to wear a sling for 6 weeks after surgery to minimize movement of the shoulder. After the six weeks you will start with Physiotherapy.

These are fortunately rare, but as with all surgery, may occur. These include infection, pain associated to the Plate and screws and Mal-union or Non-Union of the bones.

These problems, although rare and unwanted, can usually be treated.