Authors of section


Jonas Andermahr, Michael McKee, Diane Nam

Executive Editor

Joseph Schatzker

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Sabercut approach to the scapula

1. Introduction

The superior or saber cut approach is a straight incision running directly from front to back.

It is used to expose the AC-joint and the acromion.

sabercut approach

2. Skin incision

Anatomical landmarks for the superior approach are:

A) AC joint
B) The dorsal rim of the acromion

Both landmarks can easily be palpated.

Skin incision

Begin anteriorly over the humeral head, carry the incision over the AC joint and end at the posterior aspect of the acromion. If necessary the incision can be extended to join the deltopectoral approach anteriorly. Dorsally this approach can be extended to join a standard posterior approach.

Skin incision

3. Exposure

To expose the fracture line of the acromion. A partial detachment of the deltoid muscle and trapezius may be necessary.


4. Closure

Reattach the released muscles; close in layers, closing the fascia, and subcutaneous plane, and then the skin.

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