Current indications for shoulder arthrodesis include posttraumatic
brachial plexus injuries, paralysis of the deltoid muscle and rotator
cuff, chronic infection, failed revision arthroplasty, severe refractory instability,
and bone deficiency following resection of a tumor in the proximal
aspect of the humerus.
The trapezius, levator scapulae, serratus anterior, and rhomboid
muscles must be functional to optimize the functional result following
A consensus has not been reached concerning the ideal position
of the shoulder arthrodesis, although excessive abduction or flexion
has been associated with chronic postoperative pain.
Decortication of both the acromiohumeral and the glenohumeral
surfaces to increase the surface area available for arthrodesis
is the most common means for obtaining successful fusion.
Although there are numerous methods for stabilization of a shoulder
arthrodesis, the most popular method today is probably the AO technique
with either a single plate or double plates.