Prevalence of brachial plexus injuries in patients with scapular fractures: A National Trauma Data Bank review

Edward Chamata, Raman Mahabir, Daniel Jupiter, Robert A. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Studies investigating the prevalence of brachial plexus injuries associated with scapular fractures are sparse, and are frequently limited by small sample sizes and often restricted to single-centre experience. OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of brachial plexus injuries associated with scapular fractures; to determine how the prevalence varies with the region of the scapula injured; and to assess which specific nerves of the brachial plexus were involved. METHODS: The present study was a retrospective review of data from the National Trauma Data Bank over a five-year period (2007 to 2011). RESULTS: Of 68,118 patients with scapular fractures, brachial plexus injury was present in 1173 (1.72%). In patients with multiple scapular fractures, the prevalence of brachial plexus injury was 3.12%, and ranged from 1.52% to 2.22% in patients with single scapular fractures depending on the specific anatomical location of the fracture. Of the 426 injuries with detailed information on nerve injury, 208 (49%) involved the radial nerve, 113 (26.5%) the ulnar nerve, 65 (15%) the median nerve, 36 (8.5%) the axillary nerve and four (1%) the musculocutaneous nerve. CONCLUSION: The prevalence of brachial plexus injuries in patients with scapular fractures was 1.72%. The prevalence was similar across anatomical regions for single scapular fracture and was higher with multiple fractures. The largest percentage of nerve injuries were to the radial nerve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-248
Number of pages3
JournalCanadian Journal of Plastic Surgery
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2014

Keywords

  • Brachial plexus
  • National Trauma Data Bank
  • Scapula
  • Scapular fracture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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