Author(s): Brucker PU, Gruen GS, Kaufmann RA
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Abstract Scapulothoracic dissociation is an infrequent injury with potentially devastating outcomes. Knowledge of this injury is based on small patient series and case reports. The aim of this article is to review the evaluation, management and functional outcomes following scapulothoracic dissociation. Often caused by high traction forces applied to the shoulder girdle, there is a complete loss of the scapulothoracic articulation with lateral scapular displacement and intact skin. This is frequently associated with muscular, ligamentous and osseous injuries to the shoulder girdle, vascular injuries to the subclavian, or axillary, vessels and brachial plexus lesions. In the acute setting, the timely diagnosis of the associated neurovascular injuries is crucial. Severe neurovascular and soft tissue compromise often requires an early above-elbow amputation. Further, complete brachial plexus avulsions are associated with a limited potential for functional recovery.
This article was published in Injury
and referenced in Emergency Medicine: Open Access