Unreduced Chronic Dislocation of the Humeral Head With Ipsilateral Humeral Shaft Fracture: A Case Report : Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma

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Case Report

Unreduced Chronic Dislocation of the Humeral Head With Ipsilateral Humeral Shaft Fracture

A Case Report

Micic, Ivan D MD; Mitkovic, Milorad B MD; Mladenovic, Desimir S MD

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Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 19(8):p 578-581, September 2005. | DOI: 10.1097/01.bot.0000151814.87174.74


The purpose of reporting this case is to illustrate a treatment plan for a chronically anteriorly dislocated shoulder associated with an ipsilateral humerus fracture, a condition heretofore not addressed in the literature to our knowledge. An 18-year-old female, left hand dominant, injured her left upper extremity and liver in a motor vehicle accident. X-rays at time of injury revealed a diaphyseal facture of her left humerus. No x-rays of the shoulder were taken at time of injury. Treatment consisted of a plaster cast application and discharge at 1 week. The patient was seen again 4 weeks postinjury, at which time only humerus films were taken and the immobilization was continued. At 45 days postinjury, the patient complained of left shoulder pain, and shoulder x-rays at that time revealed an anterior subcoracoid dislocation of the left humeral head. At surgery 52 days postinjury, the humeral shaft fracture was found to be unstable and external fixation of both the fracture (2 pins above and below the fracture) and the reduced but still unstable humeral head was performed (a pin through the humeral head into the glenoid). The external fixator was removed at 3 weeks, and at a 3-year follow-up, the patient had acquired nearly full range of motion of her shoulder without pain and no significant limitations of her arm movements or activities. In conclusion, given a patient with a chronic anteriorly dislocated shoulder and a healing ipsilateral shaft fracture, an external fixation stabilization of both the fracture and the relocated repaired dislocation is a viable treatment option.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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