Arthroscopic treatment for greater tuberosity fractures: rationale and surgical technique


      A description of a new technique for arthroscopic treatment of minimally displaced greater tuberosity fractures of the humerus and associated soft tissue lesions is presented. This kind of fracture is usually treated nonsurgically. However, recent evidence suggests that even a small amount of superior displacement may produce shoulder dysfunction and require a perfect surgical reduction and fixation. Moreover, any displaced fracture of the greater tuberosity presents a high rate of associated and largely undetected soft tissue lesions. To avoid underestimating accompanying soft tissue pathology, arthroscopic assessment before open treatment of greater tuberosity fractures has been suggested. In 2 earlier case reports, we described the use of an arthroscope not only to diagnose and treat a rotator cuff tear and a Bankart lesion associated with a minimally displaced greater tuberosity fracture but also to arthroscopically reduce and treat the fracture. With advancements in arthroscopy and equipment, we refined and systematized the original arthroscopic technique that we have routinely used since 1997. This article presents the new technique.

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