Fractures of the scapula

John P McGahan, George T Rab, A. Dublin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


One hundred thirty-seven fractures of the scapula in 121 patients were reviewed. The average age at the time of injury was 35 years, with fractures predominant in males (64%). The majority of cases (43%) involved fractures of the body of the scapula, with fractures of the scapular neck being second most common (26%). Automobile accidents produced the most injuries (52%), followed by auto-pedestrian (18%), falls (12%), and motorcycle accidents (11%). Associated bony or major soft-tissue trauma was present in all but 15 of the 121 patients, the most common being fractured ribs in 44%. Other associated injuries included fractures of the clavicle (26%), fractured skull (24%), cerebral contusion (20%), neurologic deficit (13%), and pulmonary contusion or hemopneumothorax (16%). Patients with injuries involving the acromion process or acromioclavicular joint had a significantly higher incidence of associated peripheral nerve injuries than those with other fractures of the scapula, indicating that special attention should be given to the neurologic examination of patients with these fractures. Careful neurovascular examination is mandatory. Treatment was usually conservative, independent of the location of the fracture, with satisfactory long-term results. We recommend simple immobilization followed by early active range of motion exercise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)880-883
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Trauma
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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