Journal of Physiotherapy & Physical Rehabilitation

ISSN: 2573-0312

Open Access

Rehabilitation of a College Football Player Following a Scapular Fracture with Suprascapular Neuropathy


Andy Waldhelm, William St. Charles, Ralph Curtis, Chris Ramos and Brittney Mitchell

Scapular fractures tend to occur at an infrequent rate, 0.7% of all fractures, and typically occur due to highvelocity trauma. Secondary pathology from a scapular fracture can include neurovascular injury to structures around the shoulder. To document a case of secondary neuropathy following a scapular fracture in an American Football college athlete. This case study documents the successful return to sport following a seven-month rehabilitation program of a college football player who sustained a scapular fracture with suprascapular neuropathy. Protecting the fractured scapula was the initial goal. Therapeutic exercise and manual therapy focused on improving scapula stabilization, rotator cuff strength, and function. Finally, a return to play program was introduced to prepare the athlete to return to the field. Seven-month post-injury, the athlete returned to play without restrictions after full strength returned. Secondary neuropathy following a scapular fracture resulted in prolonged weakness of the rotator cuff muscles and impaired scapular stability and scapulohumeral rhythm. These impairments affect an athlete’s ability to protect them from high-velocity impact. Therefore, the athlete should not be allowed to return to play until these impairments are addressed.


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