Functional Outcomes After Total Claviculectomy as a Salvage Procedure

Krishnan, Sumant G.; Schiffern, Shadley C.; Pennington, Scott D.; Rimlawi, Michael; Burkhead Jr., Wayne Z.
June 2007
Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery, American Volume;Jun2007, Vol. 89-A Issue 6, p1215
Academic Journal
Background: Total claviculectomy has been used for the treatment of tumor, infection, nonunion, and vascular compromise. Given its limited indications, few reports on the outcome after claviculectomy exist. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the function of the shoulder, with use of a modern scoring system, after total claviculectomy. Methods: A retrospective review of the records of six patients who had undergone unilateral claviculectomy was performed after an average duration of follow-up of 5.7 years. The indication for surgery had been an infection at the site of a clavicular nonunion for three patients, nonunion with subclavian vein compression for two, and pain after a failed medial clavicular excision for one. The preoperative and postoperative evaluations included testing of the range of motion, strength, and stability as well as determination of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score on the basis of a functional questionnaire. Results: Range of motion was improved slightly or unchanged following claviculectomy. The mean American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score improved from 18 (range, 5 to 35) preoperatively to 88 (range, 75 to 95) postoperatively. The mean pain level (with 0 indicating no pain and 10 indicating the worst pain) decreased from 9.5 preoperatively to 1.5 postoperatively. Postoperatively, strength testing showed improvement from grade 4- (of 5) to 5 in all planes tested except extension (in which it remained at grade 4). Patient satisfaction was high, with a mean of 9.0 on a 10- point scale. There were five complications, including one subclavian vein laceration requiring vascular repair, two deep infections, and two superficial infections. Conclusions: Despite a high complication rate, the functional outcomes following claviculectomy were good in this group of six patients. Total claviculectomy may be a useful salvage procedure for clinical situations in which the restoration of normal clavicular osseous anatomy is impossible. Patients can expect acceptable pain relief and few or no deficits in activities of daily living. Level of Evidence: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions to Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.


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