Historical Perspective

1808

Forequarter amputation is performed for the first time for cancer.5

1819

The first partial scapulectomy is performed for an ossified aneurysmal tumor.6 

1837

Mussey performs a near-total scapulectomy for chondrosarcoma.3 

1864

Total scapulectomy is first described in the literature by Syme.8 

1908-1913

Prashnikov, a Russian surgeon, describes a case of scapulectomy, with removal of surrounding soft tissue, head of the humerus, and distal third of the clavicle, with reattachment of the remaining humerus to the remaining clavicle using metal sutures.3

Bauman and Tikhoff, both Russian surgeons, perform 3 such procedures.9 

1909

de Nancrede describes scapulectomy as an inferior surgical procedure compared with forequarter amputation.8 

1914

Bauman publishes a Russian-language version of his experience with resection of tumors of the shoulder.9 

1928

Boris Edmundovich Linberg publishes an English-language version of his experience perfoming the procedure and credits Tikhoff with its initiation.10 

1955-1961

Pack and Crampton begin to again employ scapular resections, particularly Tikhoff-Linberg, after nearly 50 years with only a handful of cases.8 Note the cosmetic results (left) and surgical technique (right).

Image from 8. 

1965

Burwell publishes a case report about a patient with a large scapular sarcoma treated by block resection of the shoulder, with the rest of the limb left intact .11

A description of 26 scapulectomies is published by Papioannou and Francis.12 

1977

Marcove publishes his experience performing the Tikhoff-Linberg procedure on 17 patients. He uses an intramedullary prosthesis (Kuntscher nail) to lengthen the humerus and secure it to the second rib or clavicle.13

Image from 13. 

1982

Whitehill attaches the Kuntscher nail to a ring attached to the second rib.14 Image from 14. 

1985

Malawer advocates the use of a modified Tikhoff-Linberg procedure for large tumors of the proximal humerus. He highlights his "dual suspension" technique of reconstruction.15 

1987

Craig and Thompson report no difference in local recurrence, distant metastases, or survival between amputations and limb-salvage procedures.16 

1990-Present

More reconstructive efforts after limb-sparing surgery are published.

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