Scapular Winging: Episode 91

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Scapular Winging/Winged Scapula

  • In this episode: Scapular winging aka winged scapula is a rare condition that causes the shoulder blade to shift medial or lateral of its typical location. This is usually due to weakness or nerve injury to the serratus anterior.

  • Chip Review @ (16:35): Lay’s of Thailand – Hot Chili Squid (Mega Thank you to Khem)

  • Trivia question of the week @ (13:09): Who was the first Disney princess?

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Brief overview of the episode:

            Scapular winging/winged scapula is rare. It is most often seen following trauma or as a result of repetitive motion (typically overhead athletes). The main reported symptom is range of motion loss with flexion (bringing your arm straight up and abduction (bringing your arm out to the side). There is an obvious visual symptom.
            As the name suggests the scapula will stick away from the rib cage. This is something that cannot always be right by the individual. It is however, easily observed. In most cases pain is not reported as main symptom. Often times it is felt more as an achy or really more of a weakness.
            The term dead arm is often used when discussing pitching/throwing in baseball and softball. In football and other collision sports the term stinger is used.
            In most cases there is distinct weakness with the serratus anterior (long thoracic nerve). There can also be weakness with the rhomboids (Dorsal scapular n) or the trapezius (spinal accessory n).
            Neurologic injury is much more common with scapular winging. However, someone with a winged scapula does not necessarily have an injury. There is anatomical variation and often times someone can have a scapula that does not rest on the rib cage and this is a perfectly normal variation that does not cause ROM loss, weakness or any changes to function.

Other episodes you might enjoy:  

Parsonage Turner Syndrome: Episode 78
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome: Episode 70
Shoulder Impingement: Episode 55

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