Reconstruction of Proximal Humeral Defects with Shoulder Arthrodesis Using Free Vascularized Fibular Graft

Division of Hand Surgery, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, Ankara University, Samanpazari, 06100 Ankara, Turkey.
The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (Impact Factor: 5.28). 07/2012; 94(13):e94. DOI: 10.2106/JBJS.J.01823
Source: PubMed


Treatment of proximal humeral bone loss resulting from tumor resection or from infection following shoulder arthroplasty represents a reconstructive challenge. Shoulder arthrodesis is an appropriate salvage procedure but is associated with a high rate of complications. The purpose of this report is to describe the surgical technique and report the functional outcomes in a series of patients treated with shoulder arthrodesis using free vascularized fibular graft.
Nine patients were included in this study. Two-stage reconstruction was performed in three patients with a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection following primary shoulder hemiarthroplasty. The remaining six patients had an aggressive or malignant tumor of the proximal aspect of the humerus, and tumor resection included the rotator cuff in all of these patients and the axillary nerve in three. All nine patients underwent shoulder arthrodesis using free vascularized fibular graft; eight patients had fixation with two plate-screw constructs, and one patient had fixation with only one plate and screws. Clinical and radiographic evaluation of all patients was performed at a mean of sixty months postoperatively. The Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) function score and the Toronto Extremity Salvage Score (TESS) were used to assess overall function of the upper limb.
Mean active shoulder abduction and flexion were both 80° (range, 60° to 100°). All but one patient could bring the hand to the mouth. The mean MSTS function and TESS values were twenty-four of thirty and 82%, respectively, representing a good functional outcome. Two of nine patients had a major complication. Union and fibular hypertrophy were achieved in seven of the nine patients.
Shoulder arthrodesis using free vascularized fibular graft with double plate fixation is a reliable salvage procedure in patients with major proximal humeral bone loss.

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    • "Shoulder arthrodesis after resection requires graft augmentation, which is further fraught with the risk of fatigue fractures or failure of fixation [14]. The use of the avascular strut allograft is often limited by the available length of the resection, risk of non-union, fracture and infection, besides the fear of disease transmission. "
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    ABSTRACT: Limb salvage surgery for malignant tumours of proximal humerus is an operative challenge, where the surgeon has to preserve elbow and hand functions and retain shoulder stability with as much function as possible. We treated 14 consecutive patients with primary malignant or isolated metastasis of proximal humerus with surgical resection and reconstruction by nail cement spacer. There were 8 females and 6 males, with a mean age of 28.92 years (range 16-51 years) and a mean follow-up of 30.14 months (range 12-52 months). The diagnosis was osteosarcoma in 8 patients, chondrosarcoma in 4 patients and metastasis from thyroid and breast carcinoma in 1 patient each. One of our patients had radial nerve neuropraxia, 1 developed inferior subluxation and 3 developed distant metastasis. Two patients died of disease and one developed local recurrence leading to forequarter amputation, leaving a total of 11 patients with functional extremities for assessment at the time of final follow-up which was done using the Musculoskeletal Tumour Society (MSTS) score. Though we were able to preserve the elbow, wrist and hand functions in all patients, the abductor mechanism, deltoid muscle and axillary nerve were not salvageable in any of cases. The mean MSTS score at the time of final follow-up was 19.09. Thus, proximal humeral reconstruction using nail cement spacer is a technical simple, cost-effective and reproducible procedure which makes it a reliable option in subset of patients where the functions around the shoulder cannot be preserved despite costlier prosthesis.
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    ABSTRACT: Arthrodesis of the shoulder is a straightforward and established alternative to reconstruct the shoulder function after tumor resection of the proximal humerus. In most cases, some kind of intercalary bone graft is used to bridge the bony defect. However, due to low stability of a single fibula autograft and disadvantages of exogenous graft material when performing combined allo- and autograft reconstruction, efforts to develop new surgical techniques, with the intention to lower the complication rates, are ongoing. We present a detailed description of the surgical technique and the outcome of three patients with osteosarcomas of the proximal humerus, which were treated with tumor resection and autologous double-barrel vascularized fibula bone graft for arthrodesis of the shoulder. The construct was stabilized using a 4.5-mm pelvic reconstruction plate positioned on the scapular spine and the lateral aspect of the humerus. A wide surgical margin was achieved in all patients. Two of them could be reintegrated and are able to work with excellent shoulder function. In one patient, who developed metastasis, a deep infection under chemotherapy 16 months after index surgery complicated the postoperative course. The fibula's unique dual endosteal and periosteal blood supply makes it effective as a double-barrel bone graft for major long bone defects, which requires extra bone volume to prevent fractures until bone hypertrophy occurs. Additional bone and scar formation between the two struts are believed to provide a stable and long lasting construct, as seen in our patients.
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    ABSTRACT: Free vascularized fibular transfer has become a standard procedure in upper extremity reconstruction after resection of osteogenic tumors. The authors present two rare pediatric cases of high-grade osteosarcoma resection of the proximal humerus. A free vascularized fibula autograft including the physis based on the anterior tibial artery and vein was used for reconstruction in a delayed (case 1) and immediate (case 2) approach. The main focus of the article is to describe the surgical technique, which is also presented in a series of intraoperative videos. Therapeutic, V.
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