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Papers of the Week

2022 Aug 15

J Am Acad Orthop Surg



Shoulder Arthrodesis.


Abboud JA, Cronin KJ
J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2022 Aug 15; 30(16):e1066-e1075.
PMID: 36067462.


Shoulder arthrodesis is an end-stage, salvage procedure for the glenohumeral joint and can provide a pain-free, stable shoulder with varying levels of function. Common indications include brachial plexus injury, chronic instability with rotator cuff and deltoid dysfunction, and failed shoulder arthroplasty. Multiple techniques are described, including intra-articular and extra-articular arthrodeses. Fusion can be accomplished with screw fixation, plate fixation, external fixation, and arthroscopic-assisted techniques. The optimal position of the arm is heavily debated in the literature, but the ideal position is thought to be 30° of flexion, 30° of abduction, and 30° of internal rotation. After successful fusion, the patient should be able to bring their hand to their mouth, reach their back pocket, and cross the midline for hygiene. Complications are not uncommon and include nonunion, malunion, fracture, and infection. With the increasing incidence of shoulder arthroplasty, failed arthroplasties are more commonly encountered. In a salvage situation, shoulder arthrodesis may be considered.