Interscapulothoracic, or forequarter, amputation is a disfiguring operation and is done much less frequently than its counterpart in the lower extremity. It is performed most frequently for malignancy, although selected benign tumors, osteomyelitis of the shoulder girdle, extensive injuries, and aneurysms have been treated by this type of surgery.
In malignancy, forequarter amputation is usually done as a curative measure for primary bone malignancy, malignant melanomas,1 fibrosarcomas,2 and similar tumors which either cannot be removed mechanically by another method or which would have a much poorer curative rate with less extensive procedures.1 Few extremities have been amputated as a palliative procedure for carcinoma of the breast. Pack in 19423 cited Buchanan's report of one hundred forty-one collected cases of forequarter amputation prior to 1900, four of them being for recurrent carcinoma of the breast. He summarized the cases from 1900 to 1942 and found 180, again
MUSSEY RD. Palliative Forequarter Amputation for Recurrent Breast Carcinoma. AMA Arch Surg. 1956;73(1):154-156. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01280010156020