Scapulopexy of winged scapula secondary to facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy

Sandro Giannini, Francesco Ceccarelli, Cesare Faldini, Stavroula Pagkrati, Luciano Merlini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy is an hereditary disease that causes weakness of the scapulothoracic muscles and leads to winged scapula. Patients with facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy are unable to sustain shoulder abduction or flexion and are limited in daily activities. We retrospectively reviewed nine patients (18 procedures) who had scapulothoracic fixation without arthrodesis (scapulopexy). The technique consists of repositioning the scapula over the rib cage and fixation to four ribs with metal wires. We assessed improvement in range of motion of the shoulder, maintenance of the correction with time, and cosmetic and functional results. The average age of the patients at surgery was 25.2 years (range, 15-35 years), and there were no major complications. The average followup was 9.9 years (range, 3-16 years). All patients had complete resolution of the winged scapula and improved range of motion. Arm abduction increased from an average of 68.3° (range, 45°-90°) preoperatively to 96.1° (range, 60°-120°) postoperatively. Arm flexion increased from an average of 57.2° (range, 45°-90°) preoperatively to 116.1°(range, 80°-180°) postoperatively. The position of the scapula obtained by surgery was maintained with time, and the patients had satisfactory cosmetic results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-294
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
Issue number449
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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