Snapping scapula is characterized by a “snapping” of the shoulder blade (scapula) that can often be heard or felt by the patient when rolling the shoulder. This condition typically results from dysfunctional movement of the scapula. The snapping may be painful and affect shoulder function, or there may be little or no pain with normal function. The snapping is caused by the inflamed and swollen bursal tissue catching behind the scapula and rubbing along the chest wall and ribs. The bursal tissue which resides between the scapula and chest wall serves to protect structures as they glide back and forth against each other. The bursa may become inflamed as the scapula moves back and forth, resulting in bursitis and producing the “snapping” sensation.
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