Latissimus dorsi tendon transfer for rotator cuff tears
Once a rotator cuff tear comprises not only the supraspinatus but also extends into the infraspinatus, the resulting pain and functional limitations cause more restrictions during daily life, surgical repair is more complex and the prognosis is poor. In order to restore abduction and external rotation, a transfer of the latissimus dorsi or teres major tendon to the lateral side of the supraspinatus footprint can be performed.
This study used surface EMG to pre and postoperatively determine activation levels and calculate activation ratio’s (indicating a function in a specific direction) for the deltoid, latissimus dorsi and teres major muscles during isometric tasks in subjects that underwent a surgical latissimus dorsi transfer.
After surgical transfer, the latissimus dorsi was still activated during the isometric tasks, but the direction was altered: it had become an important muscle contributing to abduction and external rotation. The teres major, as expected, did not change directional function, but its function as an adductor providing coactivation during abduction became more pronounced.
> From: Henseler et al., J Shoulder Elbow Surg 23 (2014) 553-560. All rights reserved to Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery Board of Trustees. Click here for the Pubmed summary.