Snapping Scapula Surgeon

Are you experiencing shoulder blade pain and a grating, snapping or grinding sound in the scapula area? If so, you may have scapulothoracic bursitis, or more commonly known as snapping scapula. Snapping scaupla specialist, Dr. James Mazzara provides diagnosis and both surgical and nonsurgical treatment options for patients in Manchester, South Windsor, Rocky Hill, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities who have developed snapping scapula. Contact Dr. Mazzara’s team today!

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Snapping scapula surgery

What is an Arthroscopic and Open Scapulothoracic Bursectomy and What is it Used For?

First, lets discuss arthroscopic shoulder surgery: This is also called minimally invasive surgery, where a tiny camera is placed in a small incision, so the surgeon can see into the shoulder. Small, flat instruments are then inserted in different small incisions to perform the operation.

Second, open surgery is the same surgery, performed “openly” or without the camera and special arthroscopic instruments. A slightly larger incision is used so Dr. Mazzara, shoulder surgeon in Manchester, South Windsor, Rocky Hill, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities can visually see the shoulder joint and perform the surgery.

What is the Scapulothoracic Joint?

The scapulothoracic joint (ST joint) is not a true anatomic joint, since it doesn’t have any of the usual characteristics of the other shoulder joints. It is an articulation (or movement) of the scapula with the thorax which depends on the integrity of the anatomic AC and SC joints. These two joints are interdependent with the ST joint because the shoulder bone (scapula) is attached by it’s acromion process to the lateral end of the clavicle and through the AC joint.  Any movement of the scapula on the thorax must result in movement at either the AC joint, the SC joint, or both. This makes the ST joint part of a closed chain with the two other joints and the thorax.

What are the Bursa?

The bursa is a fluid-filled sac that helps reduce friction in the shoulder spaces. There are several bursae within the shoulder. These bursae can become inflamed, causing pain, grinding in the shoulder and a snapping sensation called snapping scapula syndrome.

Are you a candidate for scapulothoracic bursectomy?

There are two ways to initiate a consultation with Dr. Mazzara:

You can provide current X-rays and/or MRIs for a clinical case review with Dr. Mazzara.

You can schedule an office consultation with Dr. Mazzara.

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What Happens During Scapulothoracic Bursectomy Surgery?

This procedure, while not widely available, can be performed by Dr. Mazzara and is also known as snapping scapula treatment. The surgery involves the removal of bone spurs and inflamed tissue. Dr. Mazzara, shoulder surgeon, will do a debridement of thickened/fibrotic bursal tissue to restore full painless motion. Recovery, when done arthroscopically, is typically quick, and sometimes can even be within a few days from the procedure.

An open scapulothoracic bursectomy, reserved for serious cases of snapping scapula, can involve the detachment of muscles from the medial spine of the scapula. This allows Dr. Mazzara access to the area for bursectomy and potential scapular resection.  The technique is quite successful with a period of immobilization after surgery (up to four weeks.) Post-operative rehabilitation then includes progressive range of motion with active range of motion at about eight weeks. Resistance and strengthening is recommended based on the patient and their recovery progression.

If you are interested in more information about arthroscopic and open scapulothoracic bursectomy as a treatment for snapping scapula syndrome, please contact Dr. James Mazzara, orthopedic shoulder surgeon in the Manchester, South Windsor, Rocky Hill, Glastonbury and surrounding Hartford communities.


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