The scapula, otherwise known as the shoulder blade, provides the rear wall and roof of the shoulder joint. An extremely strong bone surrounded by muscle and soft tissue, the scapula is not often broken; broken scapulas represent less than 1 percent of all fractures in the body. Breaks occur most often in men aged 35 to 45. As it is most often caused by an extremely strong blow, a broken scapula often accompanies other ailments, such as broken ribs, skull, or collarbone, a bruised or collapsed lung, and injury to the nerves between the shoulder and neck.
Causes and Risk Factors
A scapular fracture is most often caused by severe trauma to the shoulder blade or nearby area. A fall on an outstretched arm is also a common cause. Risk Factors
According to Rockwood and Green's Fractures in Adults, motorcycle and automobile accidents comprise between 61 and 75 percent of broken shoulder blades. Contact sports such as soccer and football also increase the risk of breaking the bone.
Last updated: Jan-01-00