Radiographic follow-up of 84 operatively treated scapula neck and body fractures uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Certain scapula fractures may warrant surgical management to restore shoulder anatomy and promote optimal function. The purpose of this study is to determine the early radiographic follow-up of open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) for displaced, scapular fractures involving the glenoid neck and body. METHODS: Eighty-four patients with a scapula body or neck fracture (with or without articular involvement) underwent ORIF between 2002 and 2010 at a single level I trauma centre. This study represents a retrospective review of data prospectively collected into a dedicated scapula fracture database. All patients met at least one of the following operative criteria: >/=20 mm medial/lateral (M/L) displacement (lateral border offset), >/=45 degrees of angular deformity on a scapular-Y X-ray, the combination of angulation >/=30 degrees plus M/L displacement >/=15 mm, double disruptions of the superior shoulder suspensory complex both displaced >/=10 mm, glenopolar angle (GPA) /=2 operative indications. A single surgeon performed ORIF in all patients using a posterior approach. Five patients also required an anterior (deltopectoral) approach. The fixation strategy included lateral and vertebral border stabilisation with dynamic compression and reconstruction plates, respectively. Union was achieved in all cases. There were three cases of malunion based on a GPA difference >10 degrees from the uninjured shoulder. Re-operations included removal of hardware (seven patients) and manipulation under anaesthesia (three patients). There were no infections or wound dehiscence. CONCLUSIONS: ORIF for displaced scapula fractures is a relatively safe and effective procedure for restoration of anatomy and promotion of union. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic study, level IV.

publication date

  • 2012

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