Musculotendinous transfer as a treatment option for irreparable posterosuperior rotator cuff tears: Teres major or latissimus dorsi?

G. A. Buijze, S. Keereweer, Gavin Jennings*, W. Vorster, J. Debeer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Irreparable posterior cuff tears can cause pain and lack of shoulder function. Surgical treatment includes musculotendinous transfers of either latissimus dorsi (LD) or teres major (TM). This study aimed to give a detailed description of the morphology of these two muscles with particular regard to their suitability for use in transfers. Sixty-two shoulders in 31 cadaveric specimens (mean age 50 years) were dissected. The mean length of the TM was 13.7 cm at its superior edge while the distance from the muscle origin to the greater tuberosity (GT) was 19.2 cm. The tendon of the TM had a length of 1.5 cm, a width of 3.4 cm, and a thickness of 1.3 mm. The mean length of the LD was 26.0 cm and the distance from its origin to the GT was 32.9 cm. The mean length of the LD tendon was 5.2 cm, its width 2.9 cm, and its thickness 1.0 mm. The increased length required to achieve transfer was 47% (of the original length) for TM and 33% for LD. Both TM and LD could reach the GT with ease, according to the potential muscle excursions. Tension of the neurovascular bundle is more probable with LD because it enters the muscle relatively closer to the tendon. Problems with regard to reattachment may be more likely to occur in a transfer of the TM because of its short tendon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)919-923
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Anatomy
Volume20
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

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