Add like
Add dislike
Add to saved papers

Functional outcomes of operative fixation of clavicle fractures in patients with floating shoulder girdle injuries.

BACKGROUND: Double disruptions of the superior suspensory shoulder complex, commonly referred to as 'floating shoulder' injuries, are ipsilateral midshaft clavicular and scapular neck/body fractures with a loss of bony attachment of the glenoid. The treatment of 'floating shoulder' injuries has been debated controversially for many years. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the clinical and functional outcomes of patients with 'floating shoulder' injuries who underwent operative fixation of the clavicle fracture only.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between 2002 and 2010, 32 consecutive floating shoulder injuries were identified in skeletally mature patients at a level I trauma center and followed in a single private practice. Thirteen patients met the inclusion and exclusion criteria for this retrospective study with a minimum 12-month follow-up. Clavicle and scapular fractures were identified by Current Procedural Technology codes and classified based on Orthopaedic Trauma Association/Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Osteosynthesefragen criteria. 'Floating shoulder' injuries were surgically managed with only clavicular reduction and fixation utilizing modern plating techniques. Nonunion, malunion, implant removal, range of motion, need for secondary surgery, pain according to the visual analog scale (VAS), and return to work were measured.

RESULTS: All injuries were the result of high-energy mechanisms. Fracture union of the clavicle was seen after initial surgical fixation in the majority of patients (12; 92.3 %). Final pain was reported as minimal (11 cases; 1-3 VAS), moderate (1 case; 4-6 VAS), and high (1 case; 7-10 VAS) at last follow-up. Excellent range of motion (180° forward flexion and abduction) was observed in the majority of patients (8; 61.5 %). The Herscovici score was 12.9 (range 10-15) at 3 months. Unplanned surgeries included two clavicular implant removals and one nonunion revision. None of the patients required reconstruction for scapula malunion after nonoperative management. Twelve patients returned to previous work without restrictions.

CONCLUSIONS: 'Floating shoulder' injuries with only clavicular fixation return to function despite persistent scapular deformity and some residual pain.


Full text links

We have located links that may give you full text access.
Can't access the paper?
Try logging in through your university/institutional subscription. For a smoother one-click institutional access experience, please use our mobile app.

Related Resources

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

Mobile app image

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app

All material on this website is protected by copyright, Copyright © 1994-2024 by WebMD LLC.
This website also contains material copyrighted by 3rd parties.

By using this service, you agree to our terms of use and privacy policy.

Your Privacy Choices Toggle icon

You can now claim free CME credits for this literature searchClaim now

Get seemless 1-tap access through your institution/university

For the best experience, use the Read mobile app