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General Orthopaedics


Current Concepts in Joint Replacement (CCJR) – Spring 2015


Subscapularis repair and integrity after a primary total shoulder arthroplasty is critical for successful outcomes. One should be familiar with the 3 basic takedown and repair techniques commonly utilised. Subscapularis repair after reverse shoulder arthroplasty is not as critical and in some cases may be detrimental to return of external rotation strength and motion.

Subscapularis tenotomy: The tendon is incised approximately 1 cm from the lesser tuberosity and an oblique incision is created from proximal lateral to distal medial stopping at the sentinel vessels. A combination of tendon-to-tendon figure of 8 sutures.

Lesser tuberosity osteotomy: This approach is helpful not only in obtaining a bone-to-bone healing, but also in the exposure. Osteotomies range from a fleck of bone in patients with minimal deformity, to a C-shaped osteotomy including part of the head which facilitates exposure of the posterior glenoid. Despite an ability to document radiographic healing of the lesser tuberosity fragment, this technique does not prevent fatty infiltration of the subscapularis.

Subscapularis Peel: This repair requires tendon healing to bone and probably incomplete, in most cases, reconstitution of a normal enthesis. External rotation can be gained by recessing the subscapularis insertion medially with the arm in external rotation. While bone-to-tendon sutures are the gold standard, augmentation of the sutures using a prosthesis as the anchor has led to the development of prostheses with multiple holes. Dual row repair of the tendon, however, may lead to medial rupture.