Is Claviculo Pro Humeri of Value for Limb Salvage of Pediatric Proximal Humerus Sarcomas?

George T. Calvert, Jennifer Wright, Jayant Agarwal, Kevin B. Jones, R Randall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: There are several options for proximal humerus reconstruction in young children after resection of a malignant tumor and no one technique has been definitively shown to be superior to others, leaving the decision to surgeon and patient choice. Claviculo pro humeri (CPH) is a biologic reconstruction of the proximal humerus using the patient’s ipsilateral clavicle as a rotational osseous flap. CPH represents a potential option for this complicated clinical problem in very young children, but little is known about it because the indications for its use are so uncommon.

Questions/purposes: The purposes of this study were to (1) assess the oncologic outcomes of CPH at a minimum of 2 years in a small series of patients; (2) elicit the complications associated with this procedure; and (3) show the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society (MSTS) functional score of these patients.

Methods: Four patients (average age, 5 years 11 months; range, 4 years 5 months to 8 years 9 months at the time of surgery) were treated with CPH for reconstruction after resection of a proximal humerus sarcoma; this represented all of the patients treated with this approach for this problem between January 2008 and April 2011 at one institution. During this period, the general indications for using CPH were the need to reconstruct a proximal humerus defect in a child younger than 10 years of age. During this time, CPH was used for all patients treated for proximal humerus sarcomas meeting these criteria. Patient demographics, diagnosis, tumor size and extent, operative details, radiographs and MRIs, complications, and functional outcomes were assessed.

Results: All are alive with no evidence of disease at a minimum followup of 31 months (average, 43 months; range, 31–58 months). Two patients developed nonunion and underwent revision surgery. Osseous union and a stable neoshoulder articulation were ultimately obtained in all patients. Limited shoulder motion was the only functional deficit noted with forward elevation ranging between 30° and 90°. MSTS functional scores were excellent with a range of 87% to 90%.

Conclusions: This is a rarely used procedure in North America but we achieved functional limb salvage in all four patients. Consistent with prior literature, nonunion was the major complication in this series. The two nonunions were successfully treated without interruption of chemotherapy or significant bone graft donor site morbidity. Based on these results, the authors suggest that this procedure is a reasonable reconstruction option to consider after proximal humerus resection in patients younger than 10 years of age. Further followup will be required to assess long-term results and to determine how this procedure compares with the alternatives.

Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-882
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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