Purpose: To examine and compare the distances from the anteromedial aspects of the coracoid base and the coracoid tip to the neurovascular structures in various patient positions.
Methods: The experiment was conducted in 15 fresh-frozen cadavers. We dissected 15 right and 15 left shoulders to measure the distances from the anteromedial aspects of the coracoid base and the coracoid tip to the lateral border of the neurovascular structures in the horizontal, vertical, and closest planes. The measurements were performed with the cadavers in the supine, lateral decubitus, and beach-chair positions. With cadavers in the beach-chair position, we evaluated 5 arm postures (arm at side, 45° of abduction, 90° of abduction, 45° of forward flexion, and 90° of forward flexion).
Results: The shortest distance from the coracoid base to the neurovascular structures was found in the beach-chair position with arm at side in the horizontal plane (27.4 ± 4.9 mm) and 90° of abduction in the vertical (21.8 ± 4.2 mm) and closest (19.5 ± 4.2 mm) planes. The distances in each plane were statistically significant compared with the supine and lateral decubitus positions (P < .005). Between the coracoid tip and the neurovascular structures, the shortest distance was found in the beach-chair position with 90° of abduction, with 29.3 ± 7.7 mm, 20.8 ± 4.9 mm, and 18.5 ± 5.1 mm in the horizontal, vertical, and closest planes, respectively. The distances were statistically significant in all planes compared with the supine and lateral decubitus positions (P < .005).
Conclusions: Shoulder surgery in the area of the coracoid process is safe, especially with the patient in the supine position. The distance from the coracoid process to the neurovascular structures was closest in the beach-chair position with 90° of arm abduction.
Clinical relevance: This study determined the distances between the coracoid process and the neurovascular structures during surgery around the coracoid process.
Copyright © 2019 Arthroscopy Association of North America. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.