J Korean Soc Surg Hand.  2016 Dec;21(4):181-188. 10.12790/jkssh.2016.21.4.181.

Latissimus Dorsi Tendon Transfer for the Treatment of Irreparable Rotator Cuff Tears

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hallym University Kangnam Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, Korea. csjwillow@gmail.com


Massive and irreparable rotator cuff tears present a difficult treatment problem, and if further progressed, then cuff tear arthropaty may develop. We treated seven cases of massive rotator cuff tears with latissimus dorsi tendon transfer and report their clinical results.
Seven patients of mean age of 64 years (range, 51-70 years) with irreparable massive rotator cuff tears were treated using latissimus dorsi tendon transfer. The latissimus dorsi flap was harvested through an axillary approach and reattached on the greater tuberosity, using transosseous suture with non-absorbable sutures. Outcomes were assessed clinically and radiographically after an average of 48 months (range, 28-68 months).
The VAS pain scores improved from 6.3 to 3.3 points (p=0.019). Forward flexion increased from 62° to 105°, abduction increased from 49° to 94°, and external rotation increased from 15° to 34°. Postoperative antero-posterior radiography revealed a mean 0.1 mm depression of the humeral head, without statistical the mean American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score improved from 44 to 76. The acromiohumeral distance showed slight increase in amount of 0.1 mm without statistical significance. There was no complication.
Latissimus dorsi transfer is a useful surgical option for treating irreparable massive rotator cuff tears.


Rotator cuff tear; Latissimus dorsi; Tendon transfer
Full Text Links
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2021 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr