Arthroscopic-assisted latissimus dorsi tendon transfer (LDTT) has been recently introduced for treatment of irreparable, posterosuperior massive rotator cuff tears. We sought to evaluate the functional outcomes of this technique and to check for possible outcome predictors.
The study reviewed 86 patients (aged 59.8 ± 5.9 years) who underwent an arthroscopic-assisted latissimus dorsi tendon transfer after 36.4 ± 9 months of follow-up. Of these, 14 patients (16.3%) sustained an irreparable massive rotator cuff tear after a failed arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. The Constant and Murley score (CMS) was used to assess patients' functionality preoperatively and at follow-up.
As a group, the CMS improved with surgery from 35.5 ± 6.1 to 69.5 ± 12.3 (P < .001). A lower preoperative CMS and a previous failed rotator cuff repair resulted in lower postoperative range of motion (P = .044 and P = .007, respectively) and CMS (P = .042 and P = .018, respectively). A previous rotator cuff repair resulted in lower satisfaction with surgery (P = .009). Gender and age did not affect the clinical outcomes.
Our results support the effectiveness of arthroscopic-assisted LDTT in the treatment of patients with an irreparable, posterosuperior massive rotator cuff tears in pain relief, functional recovery, and postoperative satisfaction. Patients with lower preoperative CMS and a history of failed rotator cuff repair have a greater likelihood of having a lower clinical result. However, the favorable values of summary postoperative scores do not exclude these patients as candidates for arthroscopic-assisted LDTT.