Superior humeral dislocation. A complication following decompression and debridement for rotator cuff tears.

Authors: Wiley AM.

References: Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1991 Feb;(263):135-41.

Very large rotator cuff tears may be surgically irreparable and under such circumstances debridement of the edges of the cuff and bursal decompression may relieve pain. In this paper, four cases are described of the development of superior migration of the humeral head following a debridement and bural decompression. In all four patients attempts were made to repair the rotator cuff. In each case the repair failed and the humeral head migrated. Two of the patients had the humeral head replaced because of a fracture; in these patients the prosthesis displaced upwards. This serious complication may follow debridement and release of the subacromial bursa when rotator cuff repair cannot be achieved. In the correction of superior humeral migration, reestablishment of the roof of the bursa was carried out in two cases. This procedure appears effective and may be considered in the future for such cases.


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