Introduction: The anterolateral acromion approach of the shoulder is popular for minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis (MIPO) technique. However, there are literatures describing the specific risks of injury of the axillary nerve using this approach. Nevertheless, most of the studies were done with Caucasian cadavers. So, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk of iatrogenic axillary nerve injury from using the anterolateral shoulder approach and further investigate the location of the axillary nerve, associated with its location and arm length in the Asian population that have shorter arm length compared to the Caucasian population.
Materials and Methods: Seventy-nine shoulders in fourty-two embalmed cadavers were evaluated. The bony landmarks were drawn, and a vertical straight incision was made 5cm from tip of the acromion (anterolateral approach), to the bone. The iatrogenic nerve injury status and the distance between the anterolateral edge of the acromion to the axillary nerve was measured and recorded.
Results: In ten of the seventy-nine shoulders, the axillary nerve were iatrogenically injured. The average anterior distance was 6.4cm and the average arm length was 30.2cm. The anterior distance and arm length ratio was 0.2.
Conclusion: Our results demonstrated that the recommended safe zone at 5cm from tip of acromion was not suitable with Asian population due to shorter arm length, compared to Caucasian population. The location of axillary nerve could be predicted by 20% of the total arm-length.
Abstract | Reference