Scapular fracture

Scapula fractures are uncommon injuries, representing ~3% of all shoulder fractures.

Mechanisms of injury
  • requires high energy trauma (e.g. motor vehicle accidents account for 50% of scapular fractures)
  • direct trauma to the shoulder region
  • indirect trauma through falling on outstretched hand
  • non-accidental injuries in children

Scpaular fractures are often associated with other injuries:

Plain radiograph

Requires trauma series views to demonstrate the fractures due to superimposition of shoulder girdle and thoracic cage. These include true anteroposterior view of the scapua, axillary view and true lateral view (Y-view) to demonstrate glenoid fracture.

  • standard for diagnosis and evaluation of the fracture and its associated injuries
  • axial scan with coronal, sagittal and 3D reconstructions are used in assessment of scapular injuries
  • intra-articular glenoid fracture
    • type I: avulsion of anterior glenoid margin
    • type II: transverse or oblique fracture through glenoid fossa exiting inferiorly
    • type III: oblique fracture through glenoid fossa exiting superiorly and associated with acromioclavicular joint injury
    • type IV: transverse fracture exiting through medial scapular border
    • type V: combination of type II and type IV
    • type VI: comminuted gelnoid fracture
  • extra-articular glenoid fracture
    • type I: glenoid neck fracture without clavicular fracture
    • type II: glenoid neck fracture with clavicular fracture and acromioclavicular dislocation
  • coracoid process fracture
    • type I: fracture proximal to the coracoclavicular ligament
    • type II: fracture distal to the coracoclavicular ligament
  • acromial fracture
    • type I:  minimally displaced
    • type II: displaced but does not reduce subacromial space
    • type III: displaced and narrow the subacromial space
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Article information

rID: 24260
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Scapular fractures
  • Fractures of the scapula

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Cases and figures

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    Case 2
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    Case 1: comminuted glenoid fracture
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    Case 3
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    Case 4
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    Case 5: acromial fracture
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    Case 6: with clavicle fracture
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    Case 7: acromial fracture
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    Case 8
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    Case 9
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