Does preoperative abduction value affect functional outcome of combined muscle transfer and release procedures in obstetrical palsy patients with shoulder involvement?
Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2004, 5:25 doi:10.1186/1471-2474-5-25Published: 3 August 2004
Obstetric palsy is the injury of the brachial plexus during delivery. Although many infants with plexopathy recover with minor or no residual functional deficits, some children don't regain sufficient limb function because of functional limitations, bony deformities and joint contractures. Shoulder is the most frequently affected joint with internal rotation contracture causing limitation of abduction, external rotation. The treatment comprises muscle release procedures such as posterior subscapularis sliding or anterior subscapularis tendon lengtening and muscle transfers to restore the missing external rotation and abduction function.
We evaluated whether the preoperative abduction degree affects functional outcome. Between 1998 and 2002, 46 children were operated on to restore shoulder abduction and external rotation. The average age at surgery was 7.6 years and average follow up was 40.8 months. We compared the postoperative results of the patients who had preoperative abduction less than 90° (Group I: n = 37) with the patients who had preoperative abduction greater than 90° (Group II: n = 9), in terms of abduction and external rotation function with angle measurements and Mallet classification. We inquired whether patients in Group I needed another muscle transfer along with latissimus dorsi and teres major transfers.
In Group I the average abduction improved from 62.5° to 131.4° (a 68.9° ± 22.9°gain) and the average external rotation improved from 21.4° to 82.6° (a 61.1° ± 23°gain). In Group II the average abduction improved from 99.4°to 140°(a40.5° ± 16°gain) and the average external rotation improved from 33.2°to 82.7° (a 49.5° ± 23.9° gain). Although there was a significant difference between Group I and II for preoperative abduction (p = 0.000) and abduction gain in degrees (p = 0.001), the difference between postoperative values of both groups was not significant (p = 0.268). There was also no significant difference between the two groups in the preoperative external rotation, the external rotation gain and the postoperative external rotation (p = 0.163, p = 0.181 and p = 0.803, respectively).
Obstetric palsy patients with shoulder sequela who had a preoperative abduction less than 90°hadas good functional results using latissimus dorsi, teres major muscle transfer and subscapularis muscle release as the patients who hada preoperative abduction greater than 90°.