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J Cardiovasc Surg (Torino). 2000 Dec;41(6):927-9.

Traumatic scapulothoracic dissociation.

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  • 1Vascular Surgery Unit, Meir General Hospital, Kfar Saba, Israel.


Scapulothoracic dissociation is an infrequent injury with a potentially devastating outcome. The diagnosis is based on clinical and radiographic findings of forequarter disruption. These include massive soft tissue swelling of the shoulder, displacement of the scapula and neurovascular injuries (brachial plexus, subclavian artery and osseous-ligamentous injuries). The mechanism of injury appears to be the delivery of severe rotational force sheering the shoulder girdle from its chest wall attachments around the scapula, shoulder joint and at the clavicle. Early recognition of the entity and aggressive treatment are crucial. Outcome is not dependent on management of the arterial injury, but rather on the severity of the neurological deficit.

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