Early postoperative complications after Latarjet procedure: a single-institution experience over 10 years

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2020 Sep 30;S1058-2746(20)30764-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2020.09.002. Online ahead of print.


Background: The Latarjet procedure is an effective procedure for the treatment of anterior glenohumeral joint instability; however, the complications are concerning. The purpose of this study was to review a single institution's experience with the Latarjet procedure for recurrent anterior glenohumeral instability specifically focusing on early complications.

Methods: This was a retrospective review of all Latarjet procedures performed at a single institution from August 2008 to July 2018. The 90-day complication rate and associated risk factors for all complications and graft failure were recorded. Postoperative radiographs were reviewed for coracoid graft position and screw divergence.

Results: During the study period, 190 Latarjet procedures were performed with 90-day follow-up. The average age was 28.7 ± 11.3 years, male patients comprised 84.2% of the population, and 62.6% of patients had undergone a prior stabilization procedure. We observed 15 complications, for a 90-day complication rate of 9.0%; of the patients, 8 (4.2%) underwent reoperations. Graft or hardware failure occurred in 9 patients (4.7%) with loosened or broken screws, and 6 required reoperations (revision Latarjet procedure in 4, distal tibia allograft in 1, and iliac crest autograft in 1). Fixation with only 1 screw (P < .001) and an increased screw divergence angle (37° ± 8° vs. 24° ± 11°, P = .0257) were statistically associated with graft failure, whereas the use of cannulated screws (P = .487) was not. There were 6 nerve injuries (3.2%), including 2 combined axillary and suprascapular nerve injuries, 1 musculocutaneous nerve injury, 1 brachial plexopathy, 1 peripheral sensory nerve deficit (likely axillary), and 1 sensory plexopathy. Suprascapular nerve injury at the spinoglenoid notch was associated with a longer superior screw (41.0 ± 1.4 mm vs. 33.5 ± 3.5 mm, P = .035) and increased screw divergence angle (40° ± 6° vs. 24° ± 11°, P = .0197). The coracoid graft was correctly positioned in the axial plane in 71% of cases and in the coronal plane in 73% of cases.

Conclusion: The Latarjet procedure is a procedure that can reliably restore shoulder stability; however, graft- and nerve-related complications are relatively common. Two-thirds of the graft failures required reoperations, and half of the nerve injuries in this study led to residual symptoms. Fixation with only 1 screw and an increased screw divergence angle were significant predictors of graft failure. Suprascapular nerve injury at the spinoglenoid notch was associated with an increased screw divergence angle and longer superior screw.

Keywords: Latarjet procedure; Shoulder instability; complications; failed Bankart repair; graft failure; nerve injury; screw divergence angle.