From 1981 to 2001, 91 shoulder resections were performed to treat shoulder girdle tumors (64 primary and 27 metastatic) in 90 patients (53 male and 37 female patients). The mean age was 34 years in patients with a primary tumor and 61 years in those with metastases. There were 7 partial scapulectomies, 13 total scapulectomies, 56 proximal humeral resections, 5 diaphyseal resections, 5 total shoulder girdle resections (Tikhoff-Linberg procedure), and 5 other procedures performed. Prosthesis implantation was carried out in 41 cases, autologous fibular transposition was done in 19, and massive homologous bone grafting was done in 4. Of the patients, 37 were clinically reviewed with a mean follow-up of 4.7 years (range, 1-20 years) by use of the recommendations of the Musculoskeletal Tumor Society for pain, function, position of hand, lifting ability, manual dexterity, and satisfaction. Nine patients were reviewed via a questionnaire and telephone interview. Twenty-six had died, and eighteen were lost to follow-up. The best results were achieved after partial scapulectomy and after humeral resection reconstructed with fibular transposition, when the function of the rotator cuff was preserved. After total scapulectomy and after humeral resection with the implantation of a tumor endoprosthesis, the function of the shoulder remained moderate because the rotator cuff was damaged. The overall satisfaction was generally good after all types of shoulder resections as a result of pain relief, preserved hand function, and improvement of psychological status. Patients can compensate extremely well by using the preserved joints and the contralateral upper limb; therefore, patient satisfaction does not rely on shoulder function alone. © 2007 Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Board of Trustees.
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