Scapulothoracic Dissociation: Diagnosis and Treatment

Peter L. Althausen, Mark A Lee, Christopher G. Finkemeier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Scapulothoracic dissociation is an important and increasingly common clinical condition resulting from massive traction injury to the anterolateral shoulder girdle with disruption of scapulothoracic articulation. It frequently is accompanied by an acromioclavicular separation, displaced clavicular fracture, or sternoclavicular disruption. Vascular lesions have been reported in 88% of patients and severe neurologic injuries occur in 94% of patients. Many patients have a poor outcome with a flail extremity in 52%, early amputation in 21%, and death in 10%. Early recognition of this injury combined with a logical treatment protocol can help to decrease the substantial morbidity and mortality associated with this condition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-244
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
Issue number416
StatePublished - Nov 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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