The most common treatment for scapular winging is physical therapy. Sometimes, surgery is needed to restore function of the shoulder blade and allow for better shoulder motion.
“Depending on the condition and the injury, a tendon transfer procedure may be used to help restore strength and proper motion to the shoulder blade,” says Dr. Riggenbach. “In addition, a nerve transfer procedure can be used to restore function.”
When a tendon transfer is performed, an extra tendon is taken from another limb and is used to restore function that way. A nerve transfer involves using an extra nerve and transferring it to the nerve that is not functioning to repair the scapular winging.Typically, surgery produces positive results in restoring function to the shoulder blade.
“It’s a patient-to-patient situation and recovery is variable,” Dr. Riggenbach says. “Usually good recoveries are seen with the tendon transfer procedure as well as the nerve transfer procedures. It just depends on how well you can get to the problem”