Surgical Repair of a Subacute Latissimus Dorsi Tendon Rupture

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Acute latissimus dorsi tendon rupture is an uncommon injury that typically occurs in competitive athletes. With complete rupture, both early acute repair and conservative management have been reported to have good results. Concerns about tendon retraction, scarring, and subsequent difficulty with primary anatomic repair lead many to favor early surgical intervention. However, in certain patients, initial conservative treatment with physical therapy may be desired. Consequently, the technical feasibility of delayed surgical repair should be examined, in case conservative treatment fails. Due to concerns about tendon retraction, delayed surgical repair has typically been performed through either a dual-incision approach, or a single-incision approach through a posterior axillary incision. We describe the single-incision primary repair of a retracted latissimus tendon rupture through a low deltopectoral axillary incision in a patient >3 months after injury.

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