Constrained total scapula reconstruction after resection of a high-grade sarcoma

Clin Orthop. 2002 Apr; (397): 143-55
Wittig JC, Bickels J, Wodajo F, Kellar-Graney KL, Malawer MM

Patients with high-grade sarcomas arising from the scapula or periscapular soft tissues traditionally have been treated with either a total scapulectomy or a wide, en bloc, extraarticular scapular resection, termed the Tikhoff-Linberg resection. The major challenge after such resections is to restore shoulder girdle stability while preserving a functional hand and elbow. The current authors describe three patients who had an extraarticular, total scapula resection (modified Tikhoff-Linberg) for a high-grade sarcoma. Each patient had reconstruction with a constrained (rotator cuff-substituting) total scapula prosthesis in an effort to optimally restore the normal muscle force couples of both glenohumeral and scapulothoracic mechanisms. At latest followup, the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society functional score was 24 to 27 of 30 (80%-90%). All patients had a stable, painless shoulder and functional hand and elbow. Forward flexion and abduction ranged from 25 degrees to 40 degrees. Glenohumeral rotation (internal rotation, T6; external rotation -10 degrees) below shoulder level, shoulder extension, and adduction were preserved. Protraction, retraction, elevation, and abduction of the scapula were restored and contributed to shoulder motion and upper extremity stabilization. There were no complications. Total scapula reconstruction with a constrained total scapula prosthesis is a safe and reliable method for reconstructing the shoulder girdle after resection of select high-grade sarcomas. The authors emphasize the clinical indications, prosthetic design, surgical technique, and early functional results. 

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