The latissimus (“Lat”) is the powerful, large muscle connecting the arm to the thorax and largely responsible for the appearance of shoulder width. It is uncommonly injured, most frequently seen in our elite pitchers and bodybuiliders. It is often a neglected diagnosis but common signs are a pop in the upper arm and bruising along the inside of the arm and the upper ribcage.
Surgical repair is recommended for return to previous level of performance and strength recovery. This is done via 2 incisions, one in the axilla (armpit) and along the inner arm. We do this typically as an outpatient procedure and it requires sling immoblilization for 4 wks followed by several months of physical therapy. Return to high-level weight training requires 4-6 months and return to pitching is a minimum of 6 months after such a repair.
Dr. Bak is one of just several surgeons in the Midwest experienced in treatment of these injuries.