Arthroscopic latissimus dorsi transfer

Arthroscopy. 2007 Nov;23(11):1243.e1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2006.12.021. Epub 2007 Apr 6.


The patient is placed in lateral decubitus. A 6-cm incision made in the axilla allows access to the latissimus dorsi tendon and its neurovascular pedicle. Holding the arm in internal rotation, the surgeon detaches sharply the tendon off the humeral shaft and then reinforces it with wrapping sutures. Pulling the free limbs of the sutures exposes the under surface of the muscle and helps to identify the neurovascular pedicle. Special lighting retractors suited for a large diameter scope are helpful. Mobilization is completed when 2 cm of the tendon crosses the posterior edge of the acromion. The standard lateral portal is used for visualization. A silicon drain tube stiffened by a Wissinger rod is advanced from the posterior portal under direct visualization in the space between teres minor and deltoid, exiting in the auxiliary incision. A suture loop passed down the tube retrieves the tendon sutures out the posterior portal. These are then moved out the anterior portal, thus pulling the tendon over the tuberosity. The first anchor is inserted at the anterior aspect of the greater tuberosity, close to the articular cartilage and long head of the biceps tendon. Two to 3 anchors are inserted fixing the tendon to the tuberosity until it is stable.

MeSH terms

  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery*
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries
  • Suture Techniques
  • Tendon Transfer / methods*