Deltoid detachment is one of the complications in open rotator cuff repair. Although it is often described, the actual prevalence, time at which it occurs and the predisposing causes are still unknown. We prospectively studied 112 patients with massive rotator cuff tears with a mean age of 67. The surgical approach was performed with a lateral para-acromial incision. Clinical assessment was performed with Constant’s method. Of the 112 patients, 9 (8%) had deltoid detachment. It occurred about 3 months after surgery. Of the nine patients, two underwent revision surgery for the deltoid trans-bone reattachment. At the follow-up, the patients with deltoid detachment had a mean increase of only 5.5 points in the Constant score compared to that of 16.9 obtained by the control group. Deltoid reattachment, performed on the two patients, provided a mean increase of 7 points only with respect to the post-operative control at the 4th month. Considering the unsatisfactory functional result consequent to deltoid detachment and the slight improvement obtained with the reattachment, we recommend the following: use suture thread thicker than #2, do not use a simple stitch and avoid extending acromioplasty to the lateral margin of the acromion.
The rotator cuff musculature imparts dynamic stability to the glenohumeral joint. In particular, the balance between the subscapularis anteriorly and the infraspinatus posteriorly, often referred to as the rotator cuff “force couple,” is critical for concavity compression and concentric rotation of the humeral head. Restoration of this anterior-posterior force balance after chronic, massive rotator cuff tears may allow for deltoid compensation, but no in vivo studies have quantitatively demonstrated an improvement in shoulder function. Our goal was to determine if restoring this balance of forces improves shoulder function after two-tendon rotator cuff tears in a rat model. Forty-eight rats underwent detachment of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus. After four weeks, rats were randomly assigned to three groups: no repair, infraspinatus repair, and two-tendon repair. Quantitative ambulatory measures including medial/lateral forces, braking, propulsion, and step width were significantly different between the infraspinatus and no repair group and similar between the infraspinatus and two-tendon repair groups at almost all time points. These results suggest that repairing the infraspinatus back to its insertion site without repair of the supraspinatus can improve shoulder function to a level similar to repairing both the infraspinatus and supraspinatus tendons. Clinically, a partial repair of the posterior cuff after a two tendon tear may be sufficient to restore adequate function. An in vivo model system for two-tendon repair of massive rotator cuff tears is presented.
This study was undertaken to introduce an anterolateral approach for mini-open rotator cuff repair and evaluate its clinical outcome and effectiveness.
We evaluated 128 consecutive cases that were repaired by mini-open repair using an anterolateral approach. There were 80 men and 48 women, with an average age of 56.2 years. Average follow-up was 25.7 months. There were eight partial-thickness, 26 small, 40 medium, 39 large and 15 massive tears. After arthroscopic glenohumeral examination and subacromial decompression, we made a 3- to 4-cm skin incision from anterolateral edge of the acromion and dissected to the raphe between the anterior and middle deltoid. The torn tendon was repaired with single- or double-row technique using suture anchors. To prevent avulsion of the deltoid from the acromion, additional suturing within the bone tunnel was performed. We retrospectively evaluated clinical outcomes using the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeon (ASES) scoring system.
The average visual analogue scale (VAS), activity of daily living (ADL) and ASES scores improved, respectively, from 6.6, 12.0 and 36.7 preoperatively to 1.2, 26.6 and 88.2 postoperatively. There were 71 excellent, 39 good, ten fair and eight poor results. There were no statistically significant difference between final ASES scores and age, symptom duration, tear size or preoperative stiffness, but men had significantly higher final ASES scores than women (P = 0.014).
Anterolateral approach for mini-open rotator cuff repair produces satisfactory results. It may also provide better visualisation for rotator cuff tears of all sizes.
Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair has become popular in the last few years because it avoids large skin incisions and deltoid detachment and dysfunction. Earlier arthroscopic single-row (SR) repair methods achieved only partial restoration of the original footprint of the tendons of the rotator cuff, while double-row (DR) repair methods presented many biomechanical advantages and higher rates of tendon-to-bone healing. However, DR repair failed to demonstrate better clinical results than SR repair in clinical trials. MR imaging at 3 Tesla, especially with intra-articular contrast medium (MRA), showed a better diagnostic performance than 1.5 Tesla in the musculoskeletal setting. The objective of this study was to retrospectively evaluate the clinical and 3 Tesla MRA results in two groups of patients operated on for a medium-sized full-thickness rotator cuff tear with two different techniques.
The first group consisted of 20 patients operated on with the SR technique; the second group consisted of 20 patients operated on with the DR technique. All patients were evaluated at a minimum of 3 years after surgery. The primary end point was the re-tear rate at 3 Tesla MRA. The secondary end points were the Constant-Murley Scale (CMS), the Simple Shoulder Test (SST) scores, surgical time and implant expense.
The mean follow-up was 40 months in the SR group and 38.9 months in the DR group. The mean postoperative CMS was 70 in the SR group and 68 in the DR group. The mean SST score was 9.4 in the SR group and 10.1 in the DR group. The re-tear rate was 60% in the SR group and 25% in the DR group. Leakage of the contrast medium was observed in all patients.
To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on 3 Tesla MRA in the evaluation of two different techniques of rotator cuff repair. DR repair resulted in a statistically significant lower re-tear rate, with longer surgical time and higher implant expense, despite no difference in clinical outcomes. We think that leakage of the contrast medium is due to an incomplete tendon-to-bone sealing, which is not a re-tear. This phenomenon could have important medicolegal implications.
Level of evidence III. Treatment study: Case–control study.
Shoulder; Rotator cuff tear; Arthroscopic repair; MR arthrography; Clinical result
Previous studies demonstrate that scapulohumeral mechanics improve after subacromial injection. However, it is unclear how injection affects muscle firing. Forty-one subjects with two-tendon rotator cuff tears and 23 volunteer subjects with normal rotator cuffs documented by ultrasonography were examined. Electromyographic activity from 12 muscles was collected during ten functional tasks. Nine symptomatic subjects with rotator cuff tears underwent subacromial injection of anesthetic and underwent repeat electromyographic examination. Subjects with rotator cuff tears demonstrate global electromyographic differences when compared to normal controls. Asymptomatic subjects with rotator cuff tears had significantly increased anterior deltoid firing when compared to symptomatic counterparts during forward shoulder elevation. After subacromial injection, symptomatic subjects demonstrate increased anterior deltoid firing. Previous in vitro and in vivo studies have suggested that pain leads to deltoid inhibition and that subacromial injection leads to improved deltoid firing and, subsequently, improved shoulder function. This study provides direct evidence that subacromial injection improves deltoid firing in symptomatic subjects with rotator cuff tears. These findings reinforce the concept that deltoid inhibition resulting from pain is an important component of the motor disability associated with rotator cuff tears.
rotator cuff injuries; intra-articular injection; local anesthetics; electromyography; biomechanics; shoulder joint; muscle; tendon injuries; pain; adult; human
Rotator cuff repairs are commonly performed to reduce pain and restore function. Tears are also treated successfully without surgical intervention; however, the effect that a torn tendon has on the glenohumeral cartilage remains unknown. Clinically, a correlation between massive rotator cuff tears and glenohumeral arthritis has often been observed. This may be due to a disruption in the balance of forces at the shoulder, resulting in migration of the humeral head and subsequently, abnormal loading of the glenoid. Our lab previously demonstrated changes in ambulation and intact tendon mechanical properties following supraspinatus and infraspinatus rotator cuff tendon tears in a rat model. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of supraspinatus and infraspinatus rotator cuff tears on the glenoid cartilage. Nine rats underwent unilateral detachment of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons and were sacrificed after four weeks. Cartilage thickness significantly decreased in the antero-inferior region of injured shoulders. In addition, equilibrium elastic modulus significantly decreased in the center, antero-superior, antero-inferior, and superior regions. These results suggest that altered loading after rotator cuff injury may lead to damage to the joint with significant pain and dysfunction. Clinically, understanding the mechanical processes involved with joint damage will allow physicians to better advise patients.
glenoid cartilage; rotator cuff; animal model; glenohumeral arthritis
Deltoid insufficiency after iatrogenic or traumatic acromionectomy results from separation of the deltoid from its origin and mechanical fulcrum. Subsequent retraction of the tendon and formation of subdeltoid adhesions to the cuff and humerus result in stiffness and pain. We evaluated clinical outcomes of patients treated with autogenous tricortical iliac crest bone graft combined with deltoid reconstruction or deltoidplasty for deltoid insufficiency after acromionectomy. We retrospectively reviewed four patients, three males, and one female treated with deltoidplasty reconstructions as revision surgery. Their mean age was 41 years, and the minimum followup was 41 months (mean, 50 months; range, 41–66 months). There were three work-related injuries. Outcomes evaluated were pain relief (visual analog score), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score, cosmesis, and complications. The mean pain score improved from 8 (range, 3–10) preoperatively to 1 (range, 0–3) postoperatively. The mean American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score improved from 31 ± 14 to 68 ± 13. One patient required revision deltoidplasty for abductor weakness. Three patients underwent hardware removal. One patient who underwent concurrent latissimus dorsi transfer had limited functional improvement but decreased pain. Two patients had improved cosmesis. All had CT scans with three-dimensional reconstructions documenting union. All patients stated they would undergo the procedure again.
Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the outcome of deltoid muscle flap transfer for the treatment of irreparable rotator cuff tears. In a retrospective study 20 consecutive patients were evaluated. The index procedure took place between 2000 and 2003. Fifteen patients were male, mean age was 62 years. Inclusion criterion was a rotator cuff defect Bateman grade IV. Exclusion criteria were smaller defects, shoulder instability and fractures of the injured shoulder. An open reconstruction with acromioplasty and a pedicled delta flap was performed. Follow up period was mean 42 months. Follow-up included clinical examination, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and the Constant and Simple (CS) shoulder tests. According to the Constant shoulder test the results were good in 13 patients, fair in 5 and unsatisfactory in 2. The pre-operative Constant Score improved from mean 25.7 points (±5.3) to 72.3 (±7.8) at follow-up. The mean values for the subcategories of CS increased significantly from 3.9 to 14.4 points for pain and from 4.2 to 15.9 points for activities daily routine (p<0.05). The change in range of motion and strength were not significant (p>0.05). Results of the Simple Shoulder Test showed a significant increase of the mean values from pre-operative 4.3 to 14.7 points post-operatively. MRI showed a subacromial covering of the defect in all cases, all flaps where intact on MRI but always the flap showed marked fatty degeneration. In conclusion, the delta flap is a simple method for the repair of large defects of the rotator cuff leading to satisfying medium results.
shoulder; rotator cuff; massive rotator cuff tear; deltoid muscle flap.
The deltoid ligament is the primary ligamentous stabilizer of the ankle joint. Both superficial and deep components of the ligament can be disrupted with a rotational ankle fracture, chronic ankle instability, or in late stage adult acquired flatfoot deformity. The role of deltoid ligament repair in these conditions has been limited and its contribution to arthritis is largely unknown. Neglect of the deltoid ligament in the treatment of ankle injuries may be due to difficulties in diagnosis and lack of an effective method for repair. Most acute repair techniques address the superficial deltoid ligament with direct end-to-end repair, fixation through bone tunnels, or suture anchor repair of avulsion injuries. Deep deltoid ligament repair has been described using direct end-to-end repair with sutures, as well as by autograft and allograft tendon reconstruction utilizing various techniques. Newer tenodesis techniques have been described for late reconstruction of both deep and superficial components in patients with stage 4 adult acquired flatfoot deformity.
We describe a technique that provides anatomic ligament-to-bone repair of the superficial and deep bundles of the deltoid ligament while reducing the talus toward the medial malleolar facet of the tibiotalar joint with anchor-to-post reinforcement of the ligamentous repair. This technique may protect and allow the horizontally oriented fibers of the deep deltoid ligament to heal with the appropriate resting length while providing immediate stability of the construct.
Complete repair of tears of
the rotator cuff may be difficult, but with superior arthrolysis
by the Apoil-Dautry technique the lesion in the cuff is not
treated. We report 17 patients who had this procedure for large
cuff defects. The outcome is directly related to the duration of
symptoms, and we only had good results in a few patients,
although intensive physiotherapy improves function. A wide
debridement is needed, followed by intensive physiotherapy for
the deltoid and shoulder stabilising muscles. We recommended
that this technique should be used in elderly patients who will
put less demand on their shoulders.
In thirty nine patients with either an acute rotator cuff rupture or a chronic impingement syndrome plus a cuff tear, a standard acromioplasty was performed along with a cuff repair using a bone detaching approach. Postoperative active motion was allowed in all but three. Follow up examination was performed two and five years after the operation. Continuous improvement in function, range of movement, and strength was observed, while pain increased slightly. The size of the tear and delay in treatment were determining factors in the outcome.
It seems appropriate to assume, that for a full and strong global shoulder function a normally innervated and active deltoid muscle is indispensable. We set out to analyse the size and shape of the deltoid muscle on MR-arthrographies, and analyse its influence on shoulder function and its adaption (i.e. atrophy) for reduced shoulder function.
The fatty infiltration (Goutallier stages), atrophy (tangent sign) and selective myotendinous retraction of the rotator cuff, as well as the thickness and the area of seven anatomically defined segments of the deltoid muscle were measured on MR-arthrographies and correlated with shoulder function (i.e. active abduction). Included were 116 patients, suffering of a rotator cuff tear with shoulder mobility ranging from pseudoparalysis to free mobility. Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was used to determine the distribution of the data before either Spearman or Pearson correlation and a multiple regression was applied to reveal the correlations.
Our developed method for measuring deltoid area and thickness showed to be reproducible with excellent interobserver correlations (r = 0.814–0.982).
The analysis of influencing factors on active abduction revealed a weak influence of the amount of SSP tendon (r = −0.25; p < 0.01) and muscle retraction (r = −0.27; p < 0.01) as well as the stage of fatty muscle infiltration (GFDI: r = −0.36; p < 0.01). Unexpectedly however, we were unable to detect a relation of the deltoid muscle shape with the degree of active glenohumeral abduction. Furthermore, long-standing rotator cuff tears did not appear to influence the deltoid shape, i.e. did not lead to muscle atrophy.
Our data support that in chronic rotator cuff tears, there seems to be no disadvantage to exhausting conservative treatment and to delay implantation of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty, as the shape of deltoid muscle seems only to be influenced by natural aging, but to be independent of reduced shoulder motion.
Rotator cuff tear; Pseudoparalysis; Deltoid muscle; Myotendinous retraction
Context: Investigators have observed electromyographic (EMG) activity of the supraspinatus muscle and reported conflicting results.
Objective: To quantify EMG activity of the supraspinatus, middle deltoid, and posterior deltoid muscles during exercises commonly used in rehabilitation.
Design: One-factor, repeated-measures design.
Setting: Controlled laboratory.
Patients or Other Participants: Twenty-two asymptomatic subjects (15 men, 7 women) with no history of shoulder injury participated.
Main Outcomes Measure(s): The dominant shoulder was tested. Fine-wire EMG electrodes were inserted into the supraspinatus, middle deltoid, and posterior deltoid muscles. The EMG data were collected at 960 Hz for analysis during maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) and 5 repetitions of 3 exercises: standing elevation in the scapular plane (“full can”), standing elevation in the scapular plane with glenohumeral internal rotation (“empty can”), and prone horizontal abduction at 100° with glenohumeral external rotation (“prone full can”). We calculated 1-way repeated-measures analysis of variance (P < .05) and post hoc 2-tailed, paired t tests to detect significant differences in muscle activity among exercises.
Results: No statistical difference existed among the exercises for the supraspinatus. The middle deltoid showed significantly greater activity during the empty-can exercise (77 ± 44% MVIC) and prone full-can exercise (63 ± 31% MVIC) than during the full-can exercise (52 ± 27% MVIC) (P = .001 and .017, respectively). The posterior deltoid showed significantly greater activity during the prone full-can exercise (87 ± 53% MVIC) than during the full-can (P = .001) and the empty-can (P = .005) exercises and significantly greater activity during the empty-can exercise (54 ± 24% MVIC) than during the full-can exercise (38 ± 32% MVIC) (P = .012).
Conclusions: While all 3 exercises produced similar amounts of supraspinatus activity, the full-can exercise produced significantly less activity of the deltoid muscles and may be the optimal position to recruit the supraspinatus muscle for rehabilitation and testing. The empty-can exercise may be a good exercise to recruit the middle deltoid muscle, and the prone full-can exercise may be a good exercise to recruit the posterior deltoid muscle.
shoulder; dynamic stabilization; empty-can exercises; full-can exercises; prone full-can exercises; rotator cuff; scaption
The increased use of the reverse prosthesis over the last 10 years is due to a large series of publications using the reverse prosthesis developed by Paul Grammont. However, there is no article reporting the story of the concepts developed by Grammont.
The purposes of this review are to describe the principles developed by Grammont, the chronology of development, and the biomechanical concepts and studies that led to the current design of the reverse prosthesis.
We selectively reviewed literature and provide personal observations.
From phylogenetic observations, Grammont developed the principle of functional surgery applied to the rotator cuff tears. To increase the deltoid lever arm, he imagined two possibilities: the lateralization of the acromion, which facilitates the action of the rotator cuff, and the medialization of the center of rotation, which has been developed to respond to situations of rotator cuff deficiency. Grammont proposed the use of an acromiohumeral prosthesis, which was quickly abandoned due to problems of acromial loosening. Finally, Grammont used the principle of reverse prosthesis developed in the 1970s, but made a major change by medializing the center of rotation in a nonanatomic location. In 1985, Grammont validated the concept by an experimental study and the first model using a cemented sphere was implanted.
The development of the modern reverse prosthesis is the result of the intellectual and experimental work conducted by Grammont and his team for 20 years. Knowledge of this history is essential to envision future developments.
Biomechanical studies suggest a suture bridge technique enhances rotator cuff tendon footprint contact area, holding strength, and mean contact pressure. Based on these studies, we asked whether (1) the suture bridge technique would provide a high rate of cuff integrity after surgery, (2) the status of the repaired cuff would change with time, (3) preoperative factors could predict postoperative cuff integrity, and (4) patients with retears had less favorable pain, functional scores, range of motion (ROM), and muscle strength compared with those with intact repairs. We prospectively followed 78 patients with arthroscopic repairs in whom we used the suture bridge technique. The integrity of the rotator cuff repair was determined using ultrasonographic evaluation at 4.5 and 12 months after surgery. Ultrasonography revealed intact cuffs in 91% at 4.5 months postoperatively, all of which were maintained at the 12-month followup. Failure rates were 17.6% (three of 17) for massive tears, 11.1% (two of 18) for large tears, 6.3% (two of 32) for medium tears, and no failures for small tears. Preoperative fatty degeneration of the supraspinatus muscle was a strong predictor of cuff integrity. We found no correlation between the integrity and clinical outcomes except for a temporary decrease of abduction strength at 6 months. Arthroscopic repair using suture bridge technique can achieve a low retear rate in shoulders treated for rotator cuff tears, but the occurrence of retear did not influence the outcome.
Level of Evidence: Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
Deltoid contracture is not uncommon in India. Contractures of deltoid often do not have definite etiology. We have critically analyzed the condition as regards the etiopathogenesis and its surgical results.
Materials and Methods:
Nineteen patients with deltoid contracture operated between June 1990 and September 2001 were enrolled for a unicentric retrospective study. The surgery was indicated in patients with abduction deformity of more than 30° at the shoulder. The etiology of deltoid contracture was idiopathic (n = 13) intramuscular injection in deltoid muscle (n = 5) and blunt trauma (n = 1). All were operated by distal release (incision near the insertion of the deltoid muscle). The average follow-up was of 9.5 years (range 6-17 years). They were evaluated based on parameters like pain, persistence of deformity, range of shoulder movements and strength of deltoid.
All patients recovered painless full range of shoulder motion except one. The correction of deformity was achieved in all patients and there was no loss of strength of deltoid compared to the opposite side. Histology of excised tissue showed features of chronic inflammation. The complications observed were hypertrophic scar (n = 1), painful terminal restriction of shoulder movements (n = 1) and prominent vertebral border of scapula (n = 1).
Deltoid contracture has features of chronic inflammation, and the intramuscular deltoid injection is the most incriminating factor in its etiopathogenesis. The condition can be effectively managed surgically by distal release of the deltoid muscle combined with excision of the muscular fibrotic contracture band.
Deltoid contracture; surgical release of deltoid contracture; eitopathogenesis of deltoid contracture
Post injection fibrosis leading to muscle contracture is a known complication. Deltoid fibrosis is known to occur following trauma or an intramuscular injection. Idiopathic Deltoid fibrosis leading to abduction contracture and anterior dislocation of the shoulder is a rare entity. Prompt diagnosis and surgery by distal release of fibrosed Deltoid muscle will lead to good functional recovery.
Abduction contracture; Deltoid fibrosis; Shoulder dislocation; Distal release
The pain, deformities and disabilities resulting from rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis must be treated by a team composed of physician, physical medicine expert, orthopædic surgeon, and, in certain cases, deep X-ray therapist working simultaneously.
The principle of “rest” in order to relieve pain has to be combined with methods designed to preserve and restore function. The multiple joint deformities in these cases may necessitate a long programme of reconstructive or functional treatment, which entails whole-hearted co-operation on the part of the patient in intensive post-operative exercise regime.
Procedures advocated for the upper limb include excision of the acromion process together with the subacromial bursa to allow free movement between the central tendon of the deltoid and the tendinous shoulder cuff: arthrodesis of the shoulder in cases where there is more severe joint destruction: in certain cases of elbow-joint arthritis, excision of the radial head and sub-total synovectomy may preserve joint function and avoid or delay the necessity for arthroplasty which can be carried out in two ways: (a) similar to the formal joint excision, or (b) re-shaping the lower end of the humerus and upper end of the ulna lining these surfaces with fascia. The former method is preferable in cases of rheumatoid arthritis. To overcome wrist-joint deformity and restore pronation and supination excision of the lower end of the ulna together with radiocarpal fusion in position for optimum function is advocated. Finger and toe joints may be corrected by resection of the bone ends and capsulectomy.
In the lower limbs bilateral involvement of the hip-joint is best treated by vitallium mould arthroplasty which may be carried out in four ways: (1) Routine arthroplasty; (2) Modified Whitman procedure; (3) Modified Colonna operation; and (4) The proximal shaft or intertrochanteric arthroplasty. It is essential in these operations to have knowledge of the operative technique, the use of special hip gouges and reamers, and detailed post-operative supervision.
For dorsal kyphosis of the spine, spinal osteotomy at the lumbar level provides excellent correction but is an operation demanding care and skill in its execution.
The author's remarks are based on experience gained when working with Dr. M. N. Smith-Petersen at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, U.S.A.
Latissimus dorsi transfer is our preferred treatment for active disabled patients with a posterosuperior massive cuff tear. We present an arthroscopically assisted technique which avoids an incision through the deltoid obtaining a better and faster clinical outcome. The patient is placed in lateral decubitus. After the arthroscopic evaluation of the lesion through a posterior and a posterolateral portal, with the limb in traction we perform the preparation of the greater tuberosity of the humerus. We place the arm in abduction and internal rotation and we proceed to the harvest of the latissimus dorsi and the tendon preparation by stitching the two sides using very resistant sutures. After restoring limb traction, under arthroscopic visualization, we pass a curved grasper through the posterolateral portal by going to the armpit in the space between the teres minor and the posterior deltoid. Once the grasper has exited the access at the level of the axilla we fix two drainage transparent tubes, each with a wire inside, and, withdrawing it back, we shuttle the two tubes in the subacromial space. After tensioning the suture wires from the anterior portals these are assembled in a knotless anchor of 5.5 mm that we place in the prepared site on the greater tuberosity of the humerus. A shoulder brace at 15° of abduction and neutral rotation protect the patient for the first month post-surgery but physical therapy can immediately start.
shoulder; posterosuperior cuff tear; tendon transfer; latissimus dorsi; arthroscopy
The indications, surgical
techniques, results and complications of shoulder fusion are
described. The indications are bacterial infection, paralytic
disorders in infancy, combined deltoid and rotator cuff
paralysis, post-traumatic brachial plexus lesions, inflammatory
arthritis with severe rotator cuff involvement, failed
arthroplasty, recurrent dislocation, after resection of tumours,
irreparable rotator cuff tear, painful arthritis in a patient
whose activities require power but not movement, the
immunocompromised patient, and tuberculosis. Satisfactory
results are achieved in children with isolated shoulder
paralysis, but in adults loss of glenohumeral movement is
associated with about 50% loss of function. The best results are
obtained in cases of isolated shoulder paralysis with a normal
arm and hand distally. The most frequent complications are
nonunion (5 – 20%), fracture of the ipsilateral humerus
(10 – 15%) and infection (3 – 5%). Other causes of failure are
functional limitation, fusion in malposition, functional
involvement of the distal joints, acromioclavicular dislocation,
suprascapular traction neuritis, failure or migration of an
internal fixation device, epiphyseal problems, and the
complications of using an allograft. Shoulder replacement is
most likely to be chosen for most destructive shoulder
disorders, but fusion is useful in certain cases.
Although the commonest type of axillary nerve palsy occurs following shoulder dislocation on humeral fracture, another form is seen after blunt trauma to the shoulder region without associated fracture or dislocation. The former usually goes on to a full recovery whereas a failure to recover is common in the latter group. In our review of 13 patients with palsy after blunt shoulder trauma, seven patients showed minimal or no recovery of deltoid muscle function and six patients went on to complete or near complete recovery. Serial electromyographic examinations usually revealed the lesion to be in continuity although eventual clinical recovery was not satisfactory in a number of these patients. The mechanism of the palsy appeared to involve a stretch injury and this was confirmed at operation in two patients. Glenohumeral fixation was a troublesome complication which limited recovery of function in four patients. Further details of the type of trauma, clinical and electromyographic examination, assessment and management are discussed.
Rotator cuff tears are a common problem presenting with loss of shoulder function, such as reduced range of motion and inability to perform daily activities. Unfortunately, most animal models of shoulder injuries do not examine shoulder function as a result of rotator cuff injury. This study examined the effect of rotator cuff tears on shoulder function in an animal model. Forty-eight Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into uninjured control, supraspinatus tendon detachment, supraspinatus+infraspinatus tendon detachment, or supraspinatus+subscapularis tendon detachment groups. Functional assessment was determined with ambulatory parameters (paw and stride measures) and range of motion prior to tendon detachment and at various time points after tendon detachment. We found that measures of shoulder function were significantly altered with rotator cuff tendon tears. The addition of a second tendon detachment had additional detrimental effects on animal shoulder function. These findings are consistent with alterations in shoulder function observed clinically with rotator cuff injuries.
Background and purpose
Few authors have considered the outcome after acute traumatic rotator cuff tears in previously asymptomatic patients. We investigated whether delay of surgery, age at repair, and the number of cuff tendons involved affect the structural and clinical outcome.
Patients and methods
42 patients with pseudoparalysis after trauma and no previous history of shoulder symptoms were included. A full-thickness tear in at least 1 of the rotator cuff tendons was diagnosed in all patients. Mean time to surgery was 38 (6–91) days. Follow-up at a mean of 39 (12–108) months after surgery included ultrasound, plain radiographs, Constant-Murley score, DASH score, and western Ontario rotator cuff (WORC) score.
At follow-up, 4 patients had a full-thickness tear and 9 had a partial-thickness tear in the repaired shoulder. No correlation between the structural or clinical outcome and the time to repair within 3 months was found. The patients with a tendon defect at follow-up had a statistically significantly lower Constant-Murley score and WORC index in the injured shoulder and were significantly older than those with intact tendons. The outcomes were similar irrespective of the number of tendons repaired.
A delay of 3 months to repair had no effect on outcome. The patients with cuff defects at follow-up were older and they had a worse clinical outcome. Multi-tendon injury did not generate worse outcomes than single-tendon tears at follow-up.
The incidence of acromioplasty has increased dramatically in recent decades, but its role in rotator cuff surgery has been debated. Neer popularized the extrinsic theory of rotator cuff pathology, where mechanical compression of the coracoacromial arch leads to tearing of the rotator cuff. Under this theory, acromioplasty is advocated to modify acromial morphology as an essential part of rotator cuff surgery. Proponents of the intrinsic theory suggest rotator cuff tendons undergo degeneration through aging and overuse, and that bursectomy alone without acromioplasty is sufficient.
There exist cadaveric studies, expert opinions, and numerous case series espousing both sides of the argument. Recently, however, numerous high-quality prospective randomized controlled trials have been published examining the role of acromioplasty. They have similar study design and randomization protocols, including groups of arthroscopic rotator cuff repair with bursectomy and acromioplasty versus isolated bursectomy. The results have been consistent across all studies, with no difference in the outcomes of the acromioplasty and isolated bursectomy groups. Current evidence does not support the routine use of acromioplasty in the treatment of rotator cuff disease.
Latissimus dorsi transfer is a well-established method for the treatment of posterosuperior massive irreparable rotator cuff tears. We propose using an arthroscopically assisted technique that avoids insult to the deltoid. With the patient in the lateral decubitus position, an L-shaped incision is made along the anterior belly of the latissimus muscle and then along the posterior axillary line. The latissimus and teres major are identified and separated. The tendon insertion of the latissimus is isolated, and a FiberWire traction suture (Arthrex, Naples, FL) is placed, facilitating dissection of the muscle to the thoracodorsal neurovascular pedicle and subsequent mobilization. The interval deep to the deltoid and superficial to the teres minor is developed into a subdeltoid tunnel for arthroscopic tendon transfer. The latissimus tendon is then transferred and stabilized arthroscopically to the lateral aspect of the infraspinatus and supraspinatus footprints by multiple suture anchors.