An Overview on the Latarjet Procedure
Shoulder instability is one of the most common causes of shoulder pain, especially in young athletes. Instability of the shoulder joint occurs when the muscles, tendons and ligaments within the joint no longer work together to hold the ball (humeral head) into the socket (glenoid). When the soft structures do not work in unison, the ball comes out of the socket and a dislocation or instability occurs. The Latarjet procedure is becoming more popular as a surgical option in patients suffering from recurrent anterior shoulder instability. Van Nuys, Thousand Oaks and Los Angeles, California orthopedic shoulder surgeon, Dr. Mark Getelman specializes in the Latarjet operation, which is extremely successful in treating recurrent dislocations.
When a shoulder becomes injured, many structures within the joint can sustain damage. Patients who have frequent dislocations develop loss of bony stability in addition to the ligament injury and may be ideal candidates for Latarjet surgery. The bone loss may occur after recurrent dislocations, during a traumatic event or from congenital deformity.
The Latarjet operation utilizes three main surgical principles that create stability, called the triple blocking effect and include:
- The coracoid process is transferred to the front of the shoulder blade to restore the bony defect of the glenoid surface.
- The inferior subscapularis and anterior inferior capsule are reinforced, allowing the conjoined tendon to provide additional anterior stability when the arm is rotated.
- The capsule is reattached to the bone graft inferiorly.
The Latarjet surgery has become an important and often recommended shoulder surgery in patients suffering from shoulder instability due to significant bone loss.