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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 48  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 56-60

Operative reduction and tendon transfer for treatment of posterior dislocation of the glenohumeral joint secondary to obstetric brachial plexus palsy in young children

Department of Orthopedics, Zagazig University Hospital, Zagazig, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Mohamad Osman Mohamad
MD, Department of Orthopedics Department, Zagazig University Hospital, Zagazig
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.7123/01.EOJ.0000426257.11905.6e

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The incidence of posterior subluxation/dislocation of the shoulder secondary to obstetric brachial plexus palsy is found to be relatively high with increasing awareness of the condition and advances in radiological imaging. Left untreated, glenohumeral deformation and functional impairment are progressive with increasing age.

Patients and methods

Twelve patients with posterior subluxation (five patients)/dislocation (seven patients) of the shoulder secondary to obstetric brachial plexus palsy were treated by operative reduction with concomitant anterior soft-tissue release and latissimus dorsi and teres major tendon transfers to the rotator cuff. The mean age at surgery was 3 years.


After a mean follow-up of 3 years, the mean aggregate Mallet score improved from 9.5 points preoperatively to 14.4 points postoperatively (increased by 51.6%). Abduction and external rotation improved significantly. Radiologically, the mean percentage of humeral head anterior to the midscapular line improved from 9% preoperatively to 42% postoperatively. All patients except one showed restoration of the dislocation, which was maintained until final follow-up. The mean glenoid version improved from −45.8° preoperatively to −8° at the latest follow-up.


The procedure used results in improved shoulder function and glenohumeral joint remodeling. Postoperative care and rehabilitation programs are mandatory for satisfactory outcome.

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