Background: Although the results of the Latarjet procedure have been reported previously, there is little literature regarding the early complications of this procedure. The purpose of this study was to report our experience with the Latarjet procedure for glenohumeral instability and to highlight the initial complications that may occur following this procedure.
Methods: Forty-seven patients (forty-eight shoulders) underwent the Latarjet procedure for anterior glenohumeral instability between January 2005 and January 2010. All shoulders had some osseous deficiency of the anterior glenoid rim or had undergone an unsuccessful prior soft-tissue Bankart repair. The minimum duration of patient follow-up was six months.
Results: Forty-five shoulders were available for follow-up. The overall complication rate was 25% (twelve of the original forty-eight shoulders). Complications were divided into three groups: infection, recurrent glenohumeral instability, and neurologic injury. A superficial infection developed in three shoulders (6%); in all cases, the infection resolved following irrigation and debridement and administration of antibiotics for up to four weeks. Four shoulders (8%) developed recurrent glenohumeral instability; this occurred within eight months in two shoulders and at nineteen and forty-two months postoperatively in the other two. Five procedures (10%) resulted in a neurologic injury. Two of these involved the musculocutaneous nerve, one involved the radial nerve, and two involved the axillary nerve. The three musculocutaneous and radial nerve injuries involved sensory neurapraxia that resolved fully within two months. Both of the patients with axillary nerve dysfunction continued to have persistent sensory disturbances and one continued to have residual weakness that had not yet resolved fully at the time of the final follow-up.
Conclusions: The overall complication rate of 25% is higher than that reported in the literature. Although most of these complications resolved completely, two patients continued to have residual neurologic symptoms. Patients should be informed of the risk of complications associated with the Latarjet procedure, although most of the potential complications will resolve.