Scapulothoracic fusion with nonmetallic cables

Burak Y. Ozturk, Travis C. Burns, Russell F. Warren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The scapulothoracic motion plays an important role in shoulder elevation and abduction. Facioscapulohumeral dystrophy, peripheral nerve injuries, medial clavicular insufficiency, brachial plexus, and spinal cord injuries can cause loss of scapular stabilization, resulting in painful winging of the scapula. Scapulothoracic fusion is a salvage procedure that aims to address this problem by providing a stable base for the scapula on the thorax. The indications for this procedure include refractory pain and limitation in shoulder elevation secondary to scapular winging. Different techniques on scapulothoracic fixation have been described in the literature with favorable outcomes. We report on the technique of scapulothoracic fusion performed on a patient with painful winging of the scapula secondary to the spinal cord injury. In this technique, we preferred to use nonmetallic cables, polyester tapes, and a low-profile plate to avoid possible complications associated with scapulothoracic fixation, such as a stress fracture of the ribs and implant cutoff through the scapula.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-46
Number of pages5
JournalTechniques in Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • arthrodesis
  • scapular winging
  • scapulothoracic fusion
  • supercable

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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