Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research: March 2008 - Volume 466 - Issue 3 - p 584-593 doi: 10.1007/s11999-008-0114-x

Reverse Shoulder Arthroplasty Combined with a Modified Latissimus Dorsi and Teres Major Tendon Transfer for Shoulder Pseudoparalysis Associated with Dropping Arm

Boileau, Pascal1,a; Chuinard, Christopher1; Roussanne, Yannick1; Bicknell, Ryan, T.1; Rochet, Nathalie1; Trojani, Christophe1

Although a reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) can restore active elevation in the cuff deficient shoulder, it cannot restore active external rotation when both the infraspinatus and teres minor muscles are absent or atrophied. We hypothesized that a latissimus dorsi and teres major (LD/TM) transfer with a concomitant RSA would restore shoulder function and activities of daily living (ADLs). We prospectively followed 11 consecutive patients (mean age, 70 years) with a combined loss of active elevation and external rotation (shoulder pseudoparalysis and dropping arm) who underwent this procedure. All had severe cuff tear arthropathy (Hamada Stage 3, 4, or 5) and severe atrophy or fatty infiltration of infraspinatus and teres minor on preoperative MRI or CT-scan. The combined procedure was performed through a single deltopectoral approach in the same session. Postoperatively, mean active elevation increased from 70° to 148° (+78°) and external rotation from -18° to 18° (+36°). The Constant score, subjective assessment and ADLs improved. The combination of a RSA and LD/TM transfer restored both active elevation and external rotation in this selected subgroup of patients with a cuff deficient shoulder and absent or atrophied infraspinatus and teres minor.


Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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