A case of scapular avulsion with concomitant scapular fracture in a cat

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Perry KL, Lam R, Rutherford L, et al.

J Feline Med Surg 2012;14:946-951.

An 11-year-old cat was referred following vehicular trauma for evaluation and treatment of right thoracic limb lameness which was non-responsive to conservative management. Gait assessment revealed a severe weight-bearing right thoracic limb lameness, soft tissue swelling over the dorsal border of the scapula, crepitus upon direct palpation over the scapula and lateralisation of the scapula upon adduction of the distal limb allowing a diagnosis of scapular avulsion to be made. Computed tomography (CT) demonstrated a comminuted fracture of the right scapula and a tear of the serratus ventralis muscle. The scapular fractures involved the caudal scapular angle and therefore a circumcostal suture was not placed. Stabilisation was achieved through reattachment of the scapula to the serratus ventralis muscle with sutures placed through small holes in the dorsal and cranial borders of the scapula. Follow-up revealed resolution of lameness at 14 weeks postoperatively but non-union of the scapular fractures as evidenced by repeat CT. This case report details the medium-term outcome following this very unusual injury and contributes to the sparse literature regarding the progression of conservatively managed scapular fractures. It demonstrates that full return to function can occur following this injury even when radiographic union of the fracture is not achieved. To our knowledge this is the first report of this specific combination of injuries detailed with medium-term and advanced imaging follow-up.