Economical and Efficacious Beach Chair Traction Positioning for Shoulder Arthroscopy

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This study describes a modified beach chair technique that allows the application of continuous traction to the operative arm during arthroscopic shoulder surgery. The difference in costs for the equipment and resources, setup time, and overall procedure time for 33 cases performed using standard beach chair (SBC) positioning and 34 cases performed using a beach chair traction (BCT) technique was documented and compared. The incremental 1-time equipment setup cost for the BCT technique was $748 CDN, with an ongoing incremental cost of $65 CDN per procedure. Setup time for the SBC group averaged 26±8 minutes compared with 28±8 minutes for the BCT group. The surgical procedure time was not significantly different and averaged 70±21 minutes for the SBC group and 65±17 minutes for the BCT group. The BCT technique produced a noticeable increase in both the glenohumeral and subacromial spaces by visual impression. The increased space resulted in improved scope of visualization and enhanced instrumentation maneuverability. This BCT technique combines the operative benefits of traction and lateral distraction during shoulder arthroscopy in the conventional and anatomically familiar beach chair position, with only minimal impact on cost and setup time.

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