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Acta ortopédica mexicana

versión impresa ISSN 2306-4102


LOREA-HERNANDEZ, RM  y  MARTINEZ-HERNANDEZ, A. Functional results of floating shoulder treatment. Acta ortop. mex [online]. 2020, vol.34, n.3, pp.189-194.  Epub 22-Nov-2021. ISSN 2306-4102.


The floating shoulder has an incidence of 0.1% of all fractures, the result of high-energy trauma. There is still no consensus in the literature on the best treatment: surgical versus conservative.

Material and methods:

Patients with floating shoulder diagnosis were evaluated from January 2013 to December 2018, collecting initial data from the electronic file. The morphological types of fractures were described using the Allman and AO classifications. Patients were evaluated using the UCLA scale for shoulder functionality.


From 14 patients, 4 were excluded due to lack of follow-up. Of the remaining 10, 9 were men, 1 woman. The average age was 29 years (range 15-42 years). Three patients had left injury, and 7 patients, right; 6 patients hurt the dominant limb. The most common morphological pattern was glenoid neck fracture + clavicle fracture in 7 patients. Surgical treatment was indicated in 7 patients; and in 3, conservative. Of the 7 patients treated surgically, 6 were with clavicle and scapula osteosynthesis; 1 just the clavicle. Patients with conservative management used a universal shoulder immobilizer for 4-8 weeks. There were no cases of consolidation delay, pseudoarthrosis, or vicious consolidation. Rehabilitation began in the first 4 weeks, and lasted up to 8 weeks.


Surgical treatment was predominant due to instability. Conservative treatment was used when injuries are minimally displaced. Both treatments generate a favorable functional result.

Palabras llave : Floating shoulder; treatment; function; instability.

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