Latissimus dorsi transfer using bone block technique to restore active external rotation in reversed total shoulder arthroplasty


Latissimus dorsi transfer ; reversed shoulder arthroplasty ; surgical technique ; bone block ; external rotation lag sign ; postoperative rehabilitation

Published online: Jun 01 2020

Nouchka Spapens, Alexander Van Tongel, Douwe Van Montfoort, Lieven De Wilde

From the University Hospital Ghent, Ghent, Belgium


The aim was to compare the outcome of a reversed shoulder arthroplasty with a latissiumus dorsi transfer without (LD-BB) or with bone block (LD+BB) in patients with rotator cuff-deficient shoulders and combined loss of active elevation and external rotation. Postoperative patients with LD+BB were not immobilized compared to 6 weeks of immobilization in patients with LD-BB. Clinical outcome was evaluated using the Constant Score, ADLER score and satisfaction rate. Also radiological follow-up of the bone-block was performed. In total 29 patients (21 LD+BB, 8 LD-BB) were evaluated. There was no significant difference between both groups at 3 months, 6 months and 1 year in clinical outcome. The radiological evaluation revealed remodellation and ingrowth of the bone block in all but one patient. We conclude that the bone block procedure is a safe technique to perform a LD transfer with good clinical outcome. It also allows early mobilisation and radiological evaluation.