A simple method of shoulder arthrodesis

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A new technique of shoulder fusion is presented using a posterior approach.After removal of the articular cartilage, a Rush pin is introduced from the spine of the scapula, through the glenoid into the medullary canal of the humerus. This is supplemented by tension-band wiring from the acromion to the neck of the humerus and a muscle pedicle graft attached to the acromion. A shoulder spica is applied for four to six weeks.

Four patients with injuries to the upper brachial plexus and 14 with paralysis of the upper arm due to anterior poliomyelitis have been followed for three years.One of the 18 patients developed nonunion; she had removed her own cast prematurely.

This method of fixation provides high shear resistance and low axial stiffness without deforming plastically.It does not affect bone growth in young patients, is effective in patients with osteoporosis, and gives a high rate of union.

J Bone Joint Surg [Br] 1998;80-B:620-3.

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