What is winged scapula, main causes and treatment

The winged scapula is a rare condition characterized by the incorrect position of the scapula, which is the bone found in the back, which is connected with the shoulder and the clavicle and which is supported by several muscles, resulting in pain and discomfort in the shoulder region.

Although rare, this situation can happen due to the weakening of the muscles that support the scapula due to the disease or as a result of shoulder injuries or conditions that affect the nerves present in the place such as excessive weight lifting or repetitive injuries related to work, for example.

The treatment of the winged scapula should be done according to the orthopedist's recommendation and is usually done through physiotherapy exercises. In more severe cases, surgery may be indicated in order to decompress the nerve and reposition the scapula.

Main causes

The winged scapula can happen either due to nerve damage or due to the weakening of the muscles that support the scapula, which are mainly the serratus anterior and trapezius muscles. Thus, the main causes of winged scapula are:

  • Muscle spasm;
  • Repetitive strain injuries;
  • Shoulder dislocation, the winged scapula being a consequence;
  • Progressive loss of muscle function;
  • Strong blows and trauma;
  • Infections.

As in this case the scapula is not positioned correctly, it is possible that the person has loss of mobility of the shoulder, in addition to pain, discomfort and discomfort in the shoulder, neck and spine and tingling of the arm. These symptoms, when left untreated, can lead to compromised daily activities, such as brushing your teeth, combing your hair and holding bags, for example.

The diagnosis of the winged scapula is made by the orthopedist through clinical evaluation, in which the position of the scapula is verified, in addition to making some movements with the arm and shoulders to check if there is movement limitation and if the person feels any pain or discomfort that is indicative of nerve damage. In addition, the doctor may recommend conducting an electromyography exam in order to check muscle activity and diagnose nerve changes. Understand what it is for and how the electromyography exam is done.

How the treatment is done

The treatment for winged scapula should be done according to the orthopedist's recommendation and with the cause of this alteration, being most often indicated to perform physiotherapy exercises to relax and strengthen the muscles, in addition to stimulating shoulder mobility, being physiotherapy is also important to relieve pain and discomfort.

In the most severe cases, which is when the winged scapula occurs as a result of compression of a nerve, surgery may be necessary to decompress the nerve, followed by physiotherapy sessions to promote recovery.

In addition, according to the severity of the winged scapula, the orthopedist can also indicate stabilization of the scapula, in which, with the help of a sling, the scapula is attached to the ribs, preventing it from being in the wrong position. We are a family owned and operated business.