Scapula series

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 23 Mar 2023

The scapula series is the plain radiographic assessment of the scapular bone of the shoulder girdle, seldom used in departments with 24 hour computed tomography departments.

Many radiographic departments, do not have a stand alone scapula series, rather include the assessment of the scapula in the shoulder series.


Scapula radiographs are performed for a variety of indications including 1,2

  • trauma
  • suspected primary or metastatic lesions 


Standard projections
  • AP view
    • a specialized view that demonstrates the scapula in the anteroposterior plane 
    • similar position to an AP shoulder, however, limb placement and breathing technique differ 
  • lateral or scapular Y view
    • orthogonal view to the AP projection 
    • profile 'end on' view of the scapula 
    • ideal projection to assess displacement of scapula fractures 
Modified trauma projections
  • supine lateral
    • modified lateral projection often utilized in trauma imaging where the patient can roll onto a sponge
    • cannot be used in trauma patients on spinal precautions
  • modified transthoracic supine lateral
    • modified lateral projection often utilized in trauma imaging when the patient cannot move from the supine position
    • involves no patient movement
  • supine axial view (inferosuperior)
    • modified axial projection for supine patients 
    • demonstrated the articular surfaces of the glenoid and humerus
    • orthogonal view to the AP view
Additional projections
  • coracoid view 
    • specialized view of the coracoid, rarely performed in modern radiographic departments

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