Transfer of the tendon of latissimus dorsi for the treatment of massive tears of the rotator cuff: a new single-incision technique

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2006 Feb;88(2):208-12. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.88B2.16830.


We describe 14 patients who underwent transfer of latissimus dorsi using a new technique through a single-incision. Their mean age was 61 years (47 to 76) and the mean follow-up was 32 months (19 to 42). The mean Constant score improved from 46.5 to 74.6 points. The mean active flexion increased from 119 degrees to 170 degrees , mean abduction from 118 degrees to 169 degrees and mean external rotation from 19 degrees to 33 degrees . The Hornblower sign remained positive in three patients (23%) as did the external rotation lag sign also in three patients (23%). No patient had a positive drop-arm sign at follow-up. No significant difference was noted between the mean pre- and postoperative acromiohumeral distance as seen on radiographs. An increased grade of osteoarthritis was found in three patients (23%). Electromyographic analysis showed activity of the transferred muscle in all patients.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Electromyography
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / diagnostic imaging
  • Osteoarthritis / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Radiography
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Rotation
  • Rotator Cuff / physiopathology
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries*
  • Rupture
  • Shoulder Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Shoulder Joint / physiopathology
  • Tendon Transfer / methods*