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J Med Case Rep. 2013 Aug 23;7:220. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-7-220.

Osteochondroma as a cause of scapular winging in an adolescent: a case report and review of the literature.

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  • 1Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Istituto Chirurgico Ortopedico Traumatologico (ICOT), via Faggiana 1668, Latina 04100, Italy.



Winged scapula is defined as the prominence of the medial border of the scapula. The classic etiopathology of scapular winging are injuries to the spinal accessory or long thoracic nerves resulting respectively in trapezius and serratus anterior palsy. To the best of our knowledge, there are only few reports of scapular lesions being mistaken for winging of the scapula. We report a rare case of a large scapular osteochondroma arising from the medial border and causing a pseudowinging of the scapula.


A 17-year-old Caucasian boy came to us complaining about a winged left scapula. The patient had a complete painless range of motion, but a large hard bony swelling was palpable along the medial border of his left scapula. A grating sensation was felt when his arm was passively abducted and/or elevated causing discomfort. A lesion revealed on X-rays was diagnosed as an osteochondroma of the medial border of his scapula. After preoperative examinations, he underwent open surgery in order to remove the lesion. A histological examination confirmed the clinical diagnosis of osteochondroma. A clinical examination 3 months later showed a full and painless range of motion, the absence of the grating sensation during passive abduction and elevation and the complete disappearance of his left shoulder deformity. After 2 years of follow-up, there were no clinical or radiological signs of recurrence.


Despite its rarity osteochondroma should be considered in the differential diagnosis for any adolescent presenting with a winging of the scapula.

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