What is a Winged Scapula?
A winged scapula is not a condition in itself, rather it is a symptom of another condition. The term 'winged scapula' describes a protruding or protracted shoulder blade - one which does not lay flat against the back of the chest wall. It is a common problem, and can also be associated with poor posture. This problem got its name from the appearance of wings it gives to the patient.
Causes of a winged scapula include damage or contusion to the long thoracic nerve, weakness in the serratus anterior muscle or contusion of the nerve which can be caused by blunt trauma and viral infections, among other things.
Treatment largely depends on the cause of the injury. In cases where posture and serratus anterior muscle weakness are to blame, exercises can help to strengthen this muscle and the other scapula stabilisors and to stretch the usually tight chest muscles.
Please see the Virtual Sports Injury Clinic for more information on how to treat a Winged Scapula