Ulunay Kanatlı1, Tacettin Ayanoglu2, Baybars Ataoğlu1, Mustafa Özer3, Mehmet Çetinkaya4

1Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Gazi University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey
2Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Bolu Abant Izzet Baysal University, Bolu, Turkey
3Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Necmettin Erbakan University, Faculty of Medicine, Konya, Turkey
4Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Cam Sakura City Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
5Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, TOBB University of Economics and Technology, Ankara, Turkey

Keywords: Neglected fractures, open reduction and internal fixation, pseudoarthrosis, scapular spine fractures


Scapular spine fractures commonly present as a late-diagnosis or a neglected disorder due to their indistinct appearance and overlapping on radiographs. We report patients diagnosed with scapular spine fracture nonunion or pseudoarthrosis. All patients had chronic posterior shoulder pain and tenderness on the spine of the scapula with palpation, as well as a palpable crepitation. One of the pseudoarthrosis patients had major movement in the fracture line. Local anesthetic injection was used to determine the diagnosis in other patients. Radiological images confirmed the diagnoses. Patients were operated with reduction and rigid fixation by 2.4/2.7 mm locking plate. Misdiagnosed scapular spine fractures can be the cause of a chronic painful shoulder and without clinical suspicion they may go undiagnosed for many years, as demonstrated in this case series. In conclusion, we recommend considering nonunion and pseudoarthrosis during physical and radiological evaluation of patients with posterior shoulder pain.

Citation: Kanatlı U, Ayanoglu T, Ataoglu B, Özer M, Çetinkaya M, Aktaş E. Isolated, neglected, traumatic scapular spine fractures: Report of five cases. Jt Dis Relat Surg Case Rep 2022;1(1):27-30.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.