International Orthopaedics October 2017, Volume 41, Issue 10, pp 2143–2148

Clinical and radiological outcomes after reverse shoulder arthroplasty in patients with failed deltoid or latissimus dorsi transfers. A review of ten cases

Valenti, P., Maqdes, A. & Werthel, JD


The purpose of this study was to report clinical and radiological results of reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) after failure of either a deltoid and/or a latissimus dorsi transfer.


Between 2001 and 2011, ten patients (average age, 61 years) underwent primary RSA after a failed tendon transfer for irreparable postero-superior rotator cuff tear (five deltoid muscle transfers, four latissimus dorsi transfers and one both). Average follow-up was 48 months. Outcome measures included pain, range of motion and postoperative Constant-Murley score.


Pain score improved significantly from a mean 8.3 to a mean 0.3. Mean shoulder elevation improved from 66 to 134°, and absolute Constant-Murley scores increased from 25.8 to 62.8 The mean improvement in external rotation was limited to 7.5°. Subjectively, six patients rated the result as much better and three rated it as better than before surgery.


Failure of the tendon transfer with deterioration of the functional outcomes can be salvaged with a RSA with no impact on the expected outcome.

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