The anterior deltopectoral approach is the standard approach for performing the open Latarjet procedure. Through the use of a more medial and vertical skin incision, the scar can be cosmetically covered by the bra strap in women. We call this incision the bra strap incision. The intention of this study was (1) to elaborate if the bra strap incision is considered beneficial by female patients, (2) to find reproducible landmarks to indicate how the bra strap incision has to be oriented, and (3) to evaluate preliminary clinical results of patients in whom the bra strap incision was used.
In 18 patients with a mean follow-up of 21 (range, 12-31) months treated with an open Latarjet procedure through the bra strap incision, the clinical results (scar satisfaction, Constant and Murley score [CMS], and subjective shoulder value [SSV]) were retrospectively analyzed. To assess the typical course of the bra strap, anatomical landmarks were assessed in 100 consecutive female patients as the distance from the bra strap center to (1) the tip of the coracoid process, (2) the superior end of the anterior axillary fold, and (3) the acromioclavicular joint.
All (18 of 18) patients stated that they would prefer the bra strap incision if the same procedure had to be performed on the opposite shoulder; 16 women were satisfied with the scar. The mean CMS was 83 (range 64-96) points and the mean SSV was 85 (range, 60-100) %. The mean distances from the bra strap center to the acromioclavicular joint, coracoid tip, and axillary fold were 28 (range, 5-60) mm, 15 (range, 2-17) mm, and 30 (range, 2-55) mm. No combination of distance measures and demographic variable revealed a linear relationship.
This analysis shows that the bra strap incision appears to be highly welcomed by female patients and does not compromise the clinical outcome, when compared to previously published data. However, even though the typical location of the bra strap can be determined, the large variations in the distances make it more preferable to preoperatively mark the incision for optimal placement.
The study is approved by the Ethical Committee Zurich. (Cantonal Ethical Committee number: ZH-Nr.2017-00891 ).