13.07.2020 | Surgical Management of Massive Irreparable Cuff Tears (J Sanchez-Sotelo, Section Editor) | Ausgabe 5/2020
Surgical Management of Massive Irreparable Posterosuperior Rotator Cuff Tears: Arthroscopic-Assisted Lower Trapezius Transfer
Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine
- Eric R. Wagner, Bassem T. Elhassan
Purpose of the Review
Functionally irreparable rotator cuff tears (FIRCTs) remain one of the most challenging pathologies treated in the shoulder. The lower trapezius transfer represents a very promising treatment option for posterosuperior FIRCT. This article reviews the role for the lower trapezius transfer in the treatment of patient with FIRCTs and highlights the tips and tricks to performing this arthroscopic-assisted procedure.
The treatment of posterosuperior FIRCTs contemplates a wide array of surgical options, including partial repair, biceps tenodesis/tenotomy, superior capsule reconstruction, subacromial balloon, reverse shoulder arthroplasty, and open-/arthroscopic-assisted tendon transfers. Tendon transfers have emerged as very promising reconstructive options to rebalance the anterior-posterior force couple. Controversy remains regarding the relative indications of latissimus dorsi transfer (LDT) and lower trapezius transfer (LTT). Initially used with very good success in patients with brachial plexus injuries, the open LTT has shown excellent clinical and radiographic outcomes in a recent series of patients with FIRCTs. However, this technique should be reserved for patients with an intact or reparable subscapularis tendon and no advanced glenohumeral arthritis or humeral head femoralization. With advancements in surgical technique, the arthroscopic-assisted LTT has shown similar promising results. However, studies on arthroscopically assisted LTT are limited to short-term follow-up, and future comparative trials with large patient numbers and longer follow-up are needed to better understand the indications for this novel tendon transfer in the treatment of FIRCT.
The arthroscopic-assisted LTT is a novel, promising option for the treatment of patients with functional irreparable posterosuperior rotator cuff tears. Careful attention to indications and technical pearls are paramount when performing this procedure to optimize postoperative clinical outcomes.