Treatment of snapping scapula syndrome in children and adolescents

Brian Haus, Adam Y. Nasreddine, Catherine Suppan, Mininder S. Kocher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to review 2 separate cohorts of young patients treated for snapping scapula: those treated surgically and those managed nonoperatively. Methods: A retrospective IRB-approved review was conducted on 18 pediatric aged patients (19 shoulders): 12 patients (average age 13.3) were treated nonoperatively, 6 patients (average age 15.4) (7 shoulders) were treated operatively. Demographic and clinical data were collected from medical records and 2 questionnaires for level of activity, return to sport, subjective satisfaction from treatment, and preoperative/postoperative levels of pain. The American Shoulder and Elbow Society (ASES) score was measured for both groups. Results: Mean follow-up for nonoperative patients was 43.7 months (range, 20 to 116 mo). Pretreatment subjective pain levels were 5.2 (scale 1 to 10), posttreatment were 1.5. There was a 75% return to play rate, and an overall 75% satisfaction rate. Posttreatment ASES scores were 90.0. Mean follow-up for surgical patients was 129.5 months (range, 68 to 177 mo). Pretreatment subjective pain level was 8.6, posttreatment was 0.75. There was an 83% return to play rate, and an overall 100% satisfaction rate. There were no complications. Posttreatment ASES scores were 92.6. Conclusions: Outcomes for nonoperative treatment of snapping scapula are good for young patients. Surgical management of snapping scapula is a safe and viable treatment option for patients who fail nonoperative treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)541-547
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • pediatric patients
  • shoulder
  • snapping scapula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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