Broken Shoulder Blade
Broken Shoulder Blade Facts
The scapula or shoulder blade is a bony structure found on the upper back that connects the upper arm to the chest wall (thorax). It also forms the socket part of the shoulder joint connecting the upper arm (humerus) to the socket (glenoid). The acromion and coracoid processes are bony bumps found on the upper part of the scapula, and they function to connect the scapula to the collarbone. The scapula is surrounded by thick layers of muscle that are responsible for the smooth movement of the shoulder joint.
- The shoulder blade (scapula) is rarely broken (broken bones are also called fractures). Shoulder blades breaks comprise very few of all fractures.
- Scapular fractures occur more often in young men aged 25-45 years because of the activities and trauma they encounter. These occur with athletic activities, motor vehicle accidents, and other forms of blunt trauma.
- A heavy force is usually required to break a shoulder blade; therefore, the health care professional will explore other injuries when a patient has a broken shoulder blade.
- Fractures (breaks) have been reported at the many areas of bone that comprise the scapula.
Broken Shoulder Blade Causes
Scapular fractures are caused by direct trauma involving a large amount of force or violence. Associated injuries to chest wall, lungs, and shoulder occur in a majority of people with broken shoulder blades. Consequently, if a scapula is fractured, other areas of the body should be diligently examined for additional problems. Common causes of broken shoulder blades include the following:
Motor vehicle accidents
Falls with direct trauma to the shoulder
Falls onto an outstretched arm
Direct trauma such as from a baseball bat or hammer
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/25/2016
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