Arthroscopic Treatment of Scapulothoracic Bursitis

Abstract

Scapulothoracic bursitis, also known as snapping scapula syndrome, is a clinical disorder characterized by painful motion and crepitus at the scapulothoracic articulation, often accompanied by an audible and palpable snapping of the scapula as it moves over the thoracic wall. The disorder commonly affects young, active patients and overhead athletes, and is associated with scapular dyskinesis of any cause, interposing soft-tissue or osseous masses, aberrant scapular morphology, and abnormalities of the chest wall. Physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and scapulothoracic injections of corticosteroid are the mainstays of nonsurgical treatment and are commonly successful in alleviating symptoms. Patients who remain symptomatic despite a course of nonsurgical care may be considered for surgery, including arthroscopic or open bursectomy and partial scapular resection. Results of surgical treatment reported in the literature are generally good, although well-designed studies are still being defined.

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