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Performance and return to sport in elite baseball players and recreational athletes following repair of the latissimus dorsi and teres major.

ABSTRACT

Tears of the latissimus dorsi (LD) and teres major (TM) are rare but disabling injuries in the overhead athlete.All patients who underwent an LD and/or TM repair between January 1, 2010, and June 6, 2016, with more than 12 months' follow-up were included. Demographic information and postoperative range of motion were recorded. Patients were contacted via phone and answered questions to provide the following: Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic (KJOC) shoulder and elbow outcome score, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) shoulder score, and visual analog scale (VAS) score. Performance data for professional athletes were recorded preoperatively and postoperatively and compared by paired t tests.Eleven male patients aged 29.9 ± 12.4 years were included; 86% were right hand dominant, 86% underwent surgery on the dominant side, and 73% were pitchers (7 professional and 1 collegiate). The mean time from injury to repair was 389 ± 789 days; 36% of repairs were performed within 6 weeks of injury. At final follow-up, the VAS score was 0.7 ± 1.9, the ASES score was 100 ± 0, and the KJOC score was 93 ± 5. Professional (major and minor league) pitchers had a mean total time participating in professional baseball of 6.6 ± 3.9 years, with 3.9 ± 2.3 years before surgery and 2.7 ± 1.8 years after surgery. Among professional pitchers, the VAS pain score was 0.0 ± 0.0, the ASES score was 100 ± 0, and the KJOC score was 89 ± 2. All professional pitchers returned to the same level of play. No significant differences existed between any preoperative and postoperative performance metrics for pitchers (P > .05).Repair of LD and TM tears in both professional and recreational athletes produces reliable functional recovery with minimal pain and the ability to return to preoperative athletic activity, even among elite throwing athletes.