Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. ; Associate Editor-In-Chief: Cafer Zorkun, M.D., Ph.D. 
Winged scapula is a condition in which the medial border (the side nearest the spine) of a person's scapula is abnormally positioned laterally and posteriorly (outward and backward). The resulting appearance of the upper back is said to be wing-like because the inferior angle of the shoulder blade protrudes backward rather than lying mostly flat like in people without the condition.
Although there are many causes of the condition, the most common is when the serratus anterior muscles are weakened (for various reasons) or when they are weakened and/or paralysed by impingement of the long thoracic nerve.
This lesion is also classically caused by denervation or damage to the trapezius muscle, which is much larger and stronger than the serratus anterior. Following damage to the serratus anterior muscle, however, it may take weeks for a winged scapula to develop, because the trapezius muscle must stretch before winging is apparent.
The serratus anterior muscle attaches to the medial anterior aspect of the scapula (i.e. it attaches on the side closest to the spine and runs along the side of the scapula that faces the ribcage) and normally anchor the scapula against the rib cage. They also rotate the scapular upwards, allowing the arm to be raised above the head. They are innervated by the long thoracic nerve, so damage to or impingement of this nerve can result in weakening or paralysis of the muscle. This can then cause the scapula to slip away from the rib cage, giving it the wing-like appearance on the upper back. This sign can particularly be seen when the affected person pushes against resistance. The person may also have limited ability to lift their arm above their head.
|Diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue (M, 710-739)|
|Arthropathies||Arthritis (Septic arthritis, Reactive arthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Psoriatic arthritis, Felty's syndrome, Juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Still's disease) - crystal (Gout, Chondrocalcinosis) - Osteoarthritis (Heberden's node, Bouchard's nodes)
acquired deformities of fingers and toes (Boutonniere deformity, Bunion, Hallux rigidus, Hallux varus, Hammer toe) - other acquired deformities of limbs (Valgus deformity, Varus deformity, Wrist drop, Foot drop, Flat feet, Club foot, Unequal leg length, Winged scapula)
patella (Luxating patella, Chondromalacia patellae)
Protrusio acetabuli - Hemarthrosis - Arthralgia - Osteophyte
|Polyarteritis nodosa - Churg-Strauss syndrome - Kawasaki disease - Hypersensitivity vasculitis - Goodpasture's syndrome - Wegener's granulomatosis - Arteritis (Takayasu's arteritis, Temporal arteritis) - Microscopic polyangiitis - Systemic lupus erythematosus (Drug-induced) - Dermatomyositis (Juvenile dermatomyositis) - Polymyositis - Scleroderma - Sjögren's syndrome - Behçet's disease - Polymyalgia rheumatica - Eosinophilic fasciitis - Hypermobility|
|Dorsopathies||Kyphosis - Lordosis - Scoliosis - Scheuermann's disease - Spondylolysis - Torticollis - Spondylolisthesis - Spondylopathies (Ankylosing spondylitis, Spondylosis, Spinal stenosis) - Schmorl's nodes - Degenerative disc disease - Coccydynia - Back pain (Radiculopathy, Neck pain, Sciatica, Low back pain)|
|Soft tissue disorders||muscle: Myositis - Myositis ossificans (Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva)
synovium and tendon: Synovitis/Tenosynovitis (Calcific tendinitis, Stenosing tenosynovitis, Trigger finger, DeQuervain's syndrome) - Irritable hip - Ganglion cyst
bursa: bursitis (Olecranon, Prepatellar, Trochanteric) - Baker's cyst
fibroblastic disorders (Dupuytren's contracture, Plantar fasciitis, Nodular fasciitis, Necrotizing fasciitis, Fasciitis, Fibromatosis)
shoulder lesions: Adhesive capsulitis - Rotator cuff tear - Subacromial bursitis
enthesis: enthesopathies (Iliotibial band syndrome, Achilles tendinitis, Patellar tendinitis, Golfer's elbow, Tennis elbow, Metatarsalgia, Bone spur, Tendinitis)
other, NEC: Muscle weakness - Rheumatism - Myalgia - Neuralgia - Neuritis - Panniculitis - Fibromyalgia
|Osteopathies||disorders of bone density and structure: Osteoporosis - Osteomalacia - continuity of bone (Pseudarthrosis, Stress fracture) - Monostotic fibrous dysplasia - Skeletal fluorosis - Aneurysmal bone cyst - Hyperostosis - Osteosclerosis|
Osteomyelitis - Avascular necrosis - Paget's disease of bone - Algoneurodystrophy - Osteolysis - Infantile cortical hyperostosis
|Chondropathies||Juvenile osteochondrosis (Legg-Calvé-Perthes syndrome, Osgood-Schlatter disease, Köhler disease, Sever's disease) - Osteochondritis - Tietze's syndrome|
|See also congenital conditions (Q65-Q79, 754-756)|