Shoulder pain and scapular dyskinesis associated with lower trapezius dysplasia – A case report

Alon Rabin, Ido Druckmann, Ofir Chechik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Scapular dyskinesis (SD) has been associated with shoulder soft-tissue tightness as well scapular muscle strength and/or activation deficits. Inadequate development of the trapezius muscle (trapezius dysplasia) is a relatively rare condition inconsistently associated with shoulder dysfunction. Case description: a 24-year old male complaining of left scapular area pain associated with SD and scapular muscle weakness was noted to present with a smaller ipsilateral lower trapezius (LT). Further inquiry including electromyography, rehabilitative ultrasound imaging (RUSI) and magnetic resonance imaging ruled out nerve palsy and demonstrated a hypoplastic left LT. This led to a greater emphasis on serratus anterior (SA) training along with the addition of neuromuscular electrical stimulation of the LT. Outcomes: Following 12 sessions over a 5-month period the patient reported no pain or functional deficits, and was able to resume all recreational activities. The patient's subjective shoulder value increased from 55% to 80%, and LT strength was markedly improved. Discussion: Scapular muscle dysplasia may represent a less recognized cause of SD. A more thorough inspection of scapular muscle shape and orientation, possibly augmented by RUSI may be indicated in patients presenting with SD. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation is a potentially useful modality for addressing scapular muscle activation and strength deficits and future research into its efficacy under these circumstances may be warranted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-112
Number of pages9
JournalPhysical Therapy in Sport
StatePublished - Nov 2020


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