We sought to determine if white-light three-dimensional (3D) body scanning can identify clinically relevant shoulder girdle deformity after displaced diaphyseal clavicle fracture (DCF).
Adult patients with DCF (AO/OTA 15A) were prospectively enrolled. Four subcutaneous osseous landmarks were utilized to measure shoulder girdle morphology of the injured and uninjured shoulder. Measurements were made both manually with a tape measure and digitally with a white-light 3D scanner. Bilateral radiographs were obtained, and clavicle length was recorded. QuickDASH surveys were administered at injury and at six and 12 weeks.
Twenty-two patients were included in the study. At the initial visit, all patients had significant differences in deformity measurements between injured and uninjured shoulders as measured by 3D scanning. There was no difference between shoulders using manual measurements. At six and 12 weeks, shoulder asymmetry was significantly less in patients treated with surgery compared to nonoperative patients as measured by the 3D scanner only. Clavicle shortening measured on 3D scanning had weak and moderate positive correlations to radiographs (R=0.27) and manual measurements (R=0.53), respectively. Patients treated with surgery had significant functional improvements by six weeks, and a similar improvement was not seen until 12 weeks in nonsurgical patients.
White-light 3D scanning was able to identify and monitor clinically relevant shoulder girdle deformity after DCF. This tool may become a useful adjunct to clinical exam and radiographic assessment when determining clinically relevant deformity thresholds. In the future, quantifying and understanding shoulder deformity may inform clinical decision making in these patients.