The primary objective of this retrospective study was to validate electrophysiological results of latissimus dorsi tendon transfer (LDTT) to determine if this transfer is active for different daily living tasks, and the secondary objective was to correlate these clinical results.
With a mean follow-up of 4.7 years, 14 latissimus dorsi tendon transfers were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were clinically evaluated with the constant score and the SSV. Healing of the tendon on the greater tuberosity and atrophy of the LDTT muscle was determined by ultrasound and compared with the contralateral side. Electrical activity was analyzed by electromyography in active elevation, abduction, and external rotation.
Twelve patients are satisfied (SSV). At the last follow-up, the EMG found a significant electrical activity in the abduction and external rotation and a lower activity in adduction and internal rotation. The mean constant score increased from 29 to 51, the mean forward elevation increased from 89° to 135°, the mean abduction from 92° to 105°, and the external rotation from 12° to 24°. The ultrasound found 12 healed tendons and two ruptures at the myotendinous junction.
Electrical activity in abduction and external rotation testifies that the LDT transfer acts as an active muscle transfer and acts not only a muscle tenodesis that covers the humeral head.