Anterior glenohumeral joint stabilization in tetraplegic patients by medializing the anterior head of deltoid muscle

J Hand Surg Am. 2015 Jan;40(1):148-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jhsa.2014.10.018. Epub 2014 Nov 20.


To improve control of the upper limb in high-level tetraplegic patients, the proximal shoulder must be the first consideration. Medialization of the anterior part of the deltoid muscle provides stabilization and is then an antagonist to the posterior deltoid when a pectoralis major palsy exists. It can also be performed in isolation in high-level tetraplegia even when there is little hope of distal extremity reconstruction to stabilize the shoulder. It also precedes the ability to restore elbow extension and perform further reconstructive hand surgery. We describe the surgical technique and report a clinical case.

Keywords: Tetraplegia; deltoid; elbow paralysis; shoulder paralysis; tendon transfer.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bone Transplantation
  • Clavicle / surgery
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / surgery*
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / surgery*
  • Quadriplegia*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Shoulder Joint / surgery*
  • Upper Extremity / surgery
  • Young Adult