We retrospectively reviewed the outcomes of 33 consecutive patients who had undergone an extra-articular, total or partial scapulectomy for a malignant tumour of the shoulder girdle between 1 July 2001 and 30 September 2013. Of these, 26 had tumours which originated in the scapula or the adjacent soft tissue and underwent a classic Tikhoff-Linberg procedure, while seven with tumours arising from the proximal humerus were treated with a modified Tikhoff-Linberg operation. We used a Ligament Advanced Reinforcement System for soft-tissue reconstruction in nine patients, but not in the other 24.
The mean Musculoskeletal Tumor Society score (MSTS) was 17.6 (95% confidence interval (CI) 15.9 to 19.4); 17.6 (95% CI 15.5 to 19.6) after the classic Tikhoff-Linberg procedure and 18.1 (95% CI 13.8 to 22.3) after the modified Tikhoff-Linberg procedure. Patients who had undergone a LARS soft-tissue reconstruction had a mean score of 18.6 (95% (CI) 13.9 to 22.4) compared with 17.2 (95% CI 15.5 to 19.0) for those who did not.
The Tikhoff-Linberg procedure is a useful method for wide resection of a malignant tumour of the shoulder girdle which helps to preserve hand and elbow function. The method of soft-tissue reconstruction has no effect on functional outcome.