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Evaluation of Shoulder Muscle Improvement in Patients Following Free Latissimus Dorsi Muscle Pedicle Flap Transfer

Erman Ak, Ömer Ayik, Ömer Berköz, Erol Kozanoğlu, Bora Edim Akalin, Serkan Bayram, Türker Şahinkaya, Ufuk Emekli
Published: 16 October 2021

Abstract: Aim: This study aimed to evaluate the clinical outcomes, shoulder muscle strength, and donor site morbidity following the free latissimus dorsi (LD) muscle pedicle flap transfer. Materials: Patients with free LD muscle pedicle flap reconstructions and with asymptomatic shoulders (affected and contralateral side) were included. The follow-up duration was 12 months. The combined shoulder range of motion (ROM), Constant–Murley shoulder (CMS), and quick disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (QuickDASH) scores were measured preoperatively and at 1 year postoperatively. The ratio of the isokinetic muscle strength and total work was measured with an isokinetic dynamometer (Cybex 350®) both preoperatively and at sixth month postoperatively. Results: Twenty patients with a mean age of 37.06 ± 9.74 years and a mean body mass index of 23.49 ± 8.6 kg/m2 were included. The difference in shoulder ROM and CMS and increase in QuickDASH were not significant at the first postoperative year. The peak torque and total work performed decreased by 13%–16% for the adductor and extensor functions at the six month postoperatively, and these differences were significant. Although the adductor peak torque was significantly lower in the postoperative test of the operated side, no significant difference was found between the operated and unaffected shoulder peak torque values. Moreover, no significant difference was noted between the operated and unaffected shoulders in all isokinetic tests pre- and postoperatively. Conclusion: The free LD muscle pedicle flap harvest did not decrease function and ROM at the first postoperative year. The muscle strength and total work of shoulders after the LD muscle transfer returned to the preoperative condition at the sixth month, except adductor and extensor muscle strengths. However, adductor and extensor muscle strengths of the operated shoulders were not significantly different postoperatively. Level of Evidence: Level IV, Diagnostic study
Keywords: donor site morbidity / free latissimus dorsi pedicle flap / isokinetic muscle strength / QuickDASH / range of motion / shoulder function / amplitude de mouvements / fonctionnement de l'épaule / force musculaire isocinétique / lambeau libre pédiculaire du grand dorsal / morbidité au site donneur

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