What is a Latarjet Procedure?
The Latarjet procedure is a technique pioneered in France which is used in complex shoulder instability. It is typically reserved for patients who have experienced recurrent instability after surgical correction or for patients who have suffered serious bony damage to their shoulder joint as a result of multiple injuries.
How do you pronounce Latarjet?
Lat-ar-jay–it is named for the French surgeon, Dr. Michel Latarjet.
What happens during the Latarjet Procedure?
This is usually an open procedure which takes just over an hour and is done on an outpatient basis. A prominent bone on the front of the scapula known as the coracoid process is transplanted to the front of the shoulder socket using several screws. This supplements the missing bone that is often present off the front of the socket in individuals with severe instability and therefore reconstitutes the bony socket. Additionally, several tendons remain attached to this transplanted bone which provide an internal restraint that further bolsters the stability of the shoulder.
Why would I need a Latarjet Procedure instead of a standard repair?
This is an excellent option for shoulder instability but is reserved for the more complex cases since it is a more involved procedure than the arthroscopic procedure used in routine cases. Additionally, this procedure requires the bone transplant to heal for the procedure to be successful. It is used for patients who have more extensive bone damage than a typical unstable shoulder.
Dr. Bak is extensively trained and experienced in this technique and employs it on a routine basis in patients with more advanced forms of shoulder instability. He is one of only several Midwest surgeons who performs this procedure arthroscopically as well as open. He has also personally modified this technique to use stronger steel screws to eliminate one of the more common complications of screw breakage.