A scapula fracture refers to a fracture (break) in the shoulder blade. This is a rare injury that results most commonly from major trauma, such as a fall from a significant height or a motor vehicle accident. Depending on the stability and alignment of the fracture, some fractures can be treated non-operatively while others are best treated with open reduction and internal fixation of the fragments. Fixation is indicated with severely displaced fractures.
For displaced and unstable fractures, Dr. Chudik uses a limited incision to expose the fracture and performs open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) of the scapula. In many cases, reducing and fixing the scapula with a plate and screws sufficiently stabilizes the scapula fracture to allow sufficient early motion and healing. Following fixation, the patient will be immobilized in a sling for six weeks to allow fracture healing followed by four to six months of physical therapy.