Divide the soft tissues over the fracture, and extend this incision along supraspinatus muscle fibers as shown. enlarge

Extend the exposure

In order to retrieve the humeral head it is necessary to achieve a proper exposure. To do this, divide the soft tissues over the fracture, and extend this incision along supraspinatus muscle fibers as shown.


Note: If a cranial extension is needed, it should be carried into the supraspinatus tendon (A) and not into the rotator interval enlarge

Note: If a cranial extension is needed, it should be carried into the supraspinatus tendon (A) and not into the rotator interval (B). This is because the typical “intertuberosity” fracture line of a four-part fracture is actually lateral to the bicipital groove, and thus through the greater tuberosity.


Retrieve the humeral head enlarge

Retrieve the humeral head

Any remaining medial capsular attachment to the head should be carefully released with special attention not to damage the axillary nerve medial to the proximal humerus.

Be sure that all loose small fragments are removed.

Keep the humeral head for later measurements and bone grafting.


Inspect the glenoid fossa enlarge

Inspect the glenoid fossa

Resect the tendon of long head of the biceps at its labral origin and retrieve the intermediate tendon.

Inspect the glenoid fossa in order to rule out any injury.

If there is a glenoid fracture, osteosynthesis should be performed now.

Remove any bony fragments.