Winged Scapula: Clinical and Electrophysiological Features and Common Causes Based on 20 Years of Experience in a Referral Center in Turkey

Azman F., Yildiz F. G., TEMUÇİN Ç. M.

Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology, vol.40, no.4, pp.286-292, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1097/wnp.0000000000000904
  • Journal Name: Journal of Clinical Neurophysiology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.286-292
  • Keywords: Dorsal scapular nerve, Facio-scapulo-humeral dystrophy, Long thoracic nerve, Spinal accessory nerve, Winged scapula
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose:Winged scapula (WS) is a functionally disabling problem and it occurs because of neurogenic causes frequently. The authors aimed to assess WS patients by physical and electrodiagnostic examinations as well as some further investigations and define the common causes of WS.Methods:The authors reviewed clinical and neurophysiological findings of 52 patients who were referred for electrodiagnostic examination because of WS in the period of 20 years.Results:The mean age was 39 (range, 11-73) years and 32 were male patients. Right side was involved in 60% of patients (n = 31). According to electrodiagnostic examinations, 44 patients (85%) had neurogenic causes; 29 spinal accessory nerve palsy (17 occurred after surgical procedure), nine long thoracic nerve palsy (four occurred after strenuous activity), two dorsal scapular nerve (both neuralgic amyotrophy), one long thoracic nerve and spinal accessory nerve (relevant with strenuous trauma), one spinal accessory nerve and dorsal scapular nerve palsies (after surgical procedure and radiotherapy), one C5-7 radiculopathy (avulsion), and one brachial plexopathy (obstetric trauma). Five patients (10%) had muscle-related findings (four facio-scapulo-humeral dystrophy and one Duchenne muscular dystrophia) and three patients (5%) had normal findings (bone-joint related).Conclusions:This study presents a relatively large series of patients with WS because of several causes from a referral tertiary EMG laboratory. The authors found that spinal accessory nerve palsy after neck surgery is the most common cause and long thoracic nerve palsy is the second common cause of unilateral WS. Electrodiagnostic examinations should be performed in WS patients to establish exact diagnosis and reveal some coexistence of WS causes.