Biomechanical effect of latissimus dorsi tendon transfer for irreparable massive cuff tear.J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2013; 22(2):150-7JS
The purpose of this study was to determine the biomechanical effects of latissimus dorsi transfer in a cadaveric model of massive posterosuperior rotator cuff tear.
Eight cadaveric shoulders were tested at 0°, 30°, and 60° of abduction in the scapular plane with anatomically based muscle loading. Humeral rotational range of motion and the amount of humeral rotation due to muscle loading were measured. Glenohumeral kinematics and contact characteristics were measured throughout the range of motion. After testing in the intact condition, the supraspinatus and infraspinatus were resected. The cuff tear was then repaired by latissimus dorsi transfer. Two muscle loading conditions were applied after latissimus transfer to simulate increased tension that may occur due to limited muscle excursion. A repeated-measures analysis of variance was used for statistical analysis.
The amount of internal rotation due to muscle loading and maximum internal rotation increased with massive cuff tear and was restored with latissimus transfer (P < .05). At maximum internal rotation, the humeral head apex shifted anteriorly, superiorly, and laterally at 0° of abduction after massive cuff tear (P < .05); this abnormal shift was corrected with latissimus transfer (P < .05). However, at 30° and 60° of abduction, latissimus transfer significantly altered kinematics (P < .05) and latissimus transfer with increased muscle loading increased contact pressure, especially at 60° of abduction.
Latissimus dorsi transfer is beneficial in restoring humeral internal/external rotational range of motion, the internal/external rotational balance of the humerus, and glenohumeral kinematics at 0° of abduction. However, latissimus dorsi transfer with simulated limited excursion may lead to an overcompensation that can further deteriorate normal biomechanics, especially at higher abduction angles.