Function correlates with deltoid preservation in patients having scapular replacement

Joseph H. Schwab, Patrick J. Boland, Edward A. Athanasian, Carol D. Morris, John H. Healey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Advocates of scapular replacement suggest sparing the deltoid should be a prerequisite for use of a scapular prosthesis. We evaluated the importance of a functioning deltoid in scapular replacement for malignant tumors. We retrospectively reviewed 19 patients who received scapular prostheses after resection of a malignant tumor. The median followup was 18 months (range, 12-124 months). The axillary nerve was resected in eight patients and spared in 11 patients. The average International Society of Limb Salvage score was 25 of 30 points (range, 21-27 points). The average scores for patients with and without axillary nerve resection were 24 points (range, 21-25 points) and 26 points (range, 23-27 points), respectively. There was a difference between the two groups in hand positioning, overall function, and pain. However, there were no differences in emotional acceptance, lifting ability, or hand dexterity. We favor using a scapular prosthesis if there is a functioning deltoid; however resection of the deltoid should not be considered an absolute contraindication for scapular replacement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
JournalClinical orthopaedics and related research
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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