In some cases of shoulder instability, especially with significant trauma or recurrent dislocation, there is bone loss affecting either the humerus (ball) or glenoid (socket). The more severe the bone loss, the higher the risk of recurrent dislocation. In this situation, a labral repair alone may not be enough to maintain stability.
Pre-operative 3D CT and MRI scans are used to assess the degree of bone loss and determine whether this procedure is best for your shoulder.
A Latarjet procedure involves taking bone from near the shoulder (coracoid process) with its muscle attachments, and transferring it to the glenoid. The transferred bone or bone graft, restores the glenoid surface, and in addition, the muscles attached to the transferred bone create a sling effect, helping to support the shoulder at the front of the joint and stop it from dislocating.
This is done as a combined arthroscopic and open procedure and is very successful at restoring stability when significant bone loss is present. A general anaesthetic and a nerve block will be used, which numbs the arm and controls the pain when you wake up.
As the nerve block wears off, there will be soreness and pain, which is a normal part of the healing process. Mr Chua and his team will prescribe an appropriate combination of medications to minimise this for you.
Most patients will stay in hospital overnight and be ready to go home the next morning. Waterproof dressings allow you to shower straight away. All sutures/stitches are internal and do not need to be removed, as they dissolve once the wound has healed.
Your arm will be in a sling but you will be able to perform simple day to day activities including eating and drinking. You will not be able to drive or operate heavy machinery for a minimum of 6 weeks.
A physiotherapist will see you before you leave hospital and provide you with simple exercises for the early post-operative period. Rehabilitation guidelines may vary depending on your specific injury and the surgery required. Mr Chua will discuss these with you at your post-operative visit in the first few weeks after surgery, and the next phase of your recovery will continue with the help of a local physiotherapist.