OrthoNeuro Blog

18 May

Shoulder Problem? Scapular Dyskinesis (SICK Scapula) may be the Issue

by B. Rodney Comisar, MD

Scapular Dyskinesia, which is also referred to as SICK Scapula, is the abnormal positioning and motion of the shoulder blade (scapula) present in many shoulder injuries. 

Closeup of young shirtless man with shoulder pain over white background.jpegThis condition is common in overhead throwing athletes and individuals with jobs requiring repetitive above the shoulder motions. Scapular Dyskinesis causes loss of normal shoulder mechanics and results:

  • Sub-optimal shoulder function
  • Diminished rotator cuff (RTC) function
  • Increased stress on shoulder ligaments
  • Increased strain on the muscles surrounding the shoulder blade


  • Soft-tissue Related - Most Common.  Muscle weakness attributed to muscle inflexibility and joint tightness
  • Instability in the shoulder joints
  • Rounding of shoulders and collar bone conditions
  • Nerve palsy or symptoms coming from your neck referring pain to your shoulder

Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain around the shoulder blade when using the arm overhead or carrying heavy objects.
  • Snapping or popping sensation around the scapula when moving your shoulder
  • Loss of strength
  • Winging of the scapula
  • Feeling of shoulder coming out of place


Physical therapy is recommended to treat scapular dyskinesis.  Goals for therapy should include stretching to increase flexibility, core strengthening, and strengthening of the periscapular muscles to assist in stabilization the shoulder blade.  Surgery on the associated condition may also be warranted.

Do you have shoulder pain with overhead motion? Does one of your shoulder blades appear to be winging out from your body compared to the other side?  Schedule an appointment with Dr. Comisar today for an evaluation.  Same Day, next day appointments available!

Schedule Now!

Dr. Comisar - Orthopedic Surgeon - SICK Scapula

Dr. Comisar is a board certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine related injuries.  He has a sub-specialty certification in Sports Medicine.  Dr. Comisar offers a full spectrum of sports medicine surgery, including arthroscopy and minimally invasive procedures.  

“I strive to provide comprehensive, state of the art treatment in an environment in which you/one would feel comfortable and confident sending family and friends.”

Dr. Comisar currently serves as team physician for Denison University, and Licking Heights High School.

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