Purpose: Latarjet, which is a coracoid bone block procedure, is an effective treatment for anterior shoulder instability with glenoid bone loss. During this reconstructive procedure the subscapularis may be tenotomized or be split to expose the glenoid neck. The aim of this study was to assess the effect of subscapularis management on functional outcomes and internal and external rotation durability and strength. Hypothesis is that the subscapularis split approach will result in better functional results and superior internal rotation strength and endurance.
Methods: The study included 48 patients [median age 30 (range 16-69); 42 males, 6 females], who underwent a modified Latarjet procedure for anterior shoulder instability. There were 20 patients in the subscapularis tenotomy group and 28 patients in the subscapularis split group. The groups were compared isokinetically using a computerized dynamometer for internal and external rotation durability and strength. At the latest follow-up, the patients were evaluated with the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) and ROWE scores for functional outcomes.
Results: At a median follow-up period of 25 (range 12-73) months after the Latarjet procedure, the internal rotation durability was significantly higher in the split group (p = 0.045). However, a statistically significant difference could not be found for internal and external rotational strengths (n.s.). There was also no significant difference between the final ASES and ROWE scores (n.s.).
Conclusion: Although both approaches offer promising results, the subscapularis split approach appears to provide better internal rotation durability compared to subscapularis tenotomy. Therefore, the subscapularis split approach may be more preferable for the management of the subscapularis muscle during Latarjet procedure.
Level of evidence: Retrospective cohort study, Level III.
Keywords: Latarjet procedure; Strength; Subscapularis split; Subscapularis tenotomy.