Winged Scapula

winged scapula (scapula alata) is a condition in which the shoulder blade, or shoulder bone, protrudes from a person’s back in an abnormal position. It is a rare condition with the potential to lead to limited functional activity in the upper extremity with which it is adjacent. It can affect a person’s ability to lift, pull, and push weighty objects.

Image from: Winged Scapula After Aortic Valve Replacement.  Annals of Thoracic Surgery

The most common cause of scapular winging is serratus anterior paralysis. This is typically caused by damage  to the long thoracic nerve. This nerve supplies the serratus anterior, which is located on the side of the thorax and acts to pull the scapula forward. (adapted from wikipedia)

Anatomical Review here (PDF here)

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