The Shoulder Trans-pectoralis Arthroscopic Portal Is a Safe Approach to the Arthroscopic Latarjet Procedure: A Cadaveric Analysis

Published:October 03, 2020DOI:


      To assess the proximity of neurovascular structures in a layered approach during medial portal placement and determine standardized measurements for establishing a portal medial to the coracoid used in arthroscopic Latarjet-type procedures.


      Twelve shoulders (6 right and 6 left) in 6 fresh frozen cadaveric torsos were mounted in the modified beach-chair position. A standard posterior portal and 3 anterior portals—central, lateral, and medial—were used. A long spinal needle was placed along the path of the medial portal to the lateral tip of the coracoid, superficial to the conjoined tendon and pectoralis minor. A second long spinal needle was directed toward the medial base of the coracoid, penetrating the pectoralis minor. Superficial and deep plane dissections were performed, and distances to surrounding neurovascular structures were recorded.


      In the superficial plane, the cephalic vein and lateral pectoral nerve were located a mean distance (± standard deviation) of 4.6 ± 1.9 mm and 9.4 ± 2.6 mm from the spinal needle, respectively. In the deep plane, the axillary nerve was 24.9 ± 7.4 mm from the needle; the lateral cord of the brachial plexus, 25.5 ± 8.1 mm; the axillary artery, 34.1 ± 6.0 mm; and the musculocutaneous nerve, 42.2 ± 9.2 mm. The portal was consistently established 45.0 to 50.0 mm distal and 30.0 to 35.0 mm medial to the coracoid, which was a minimum distance of 10 mm to the lateral pectoral nerve.


      In a cadaveric model, the creation of a medial trans–pectoralis major portal used in the arthroscopic Bankart-Bristow-Latarjet procedure can avoid compromise of vital neurovascular structures, alleviating concerns of creating a portal medial to the coracoid. Portal placement 45.0 to 50.0 mm distal and 30.0 to 35.0 mm medial to the palpable tip of the coracoid process may be a safe approach to perform the arthroscopic Bankart-Bristow-Latarjet procedure.

      Clinical Relevance

      Creation of a portal medial to the level of the coracoid may pose a risk to neurovascular structures. This cadaveric study establishes a working zone for medial trans-pectoralis portal placement, which avoids vital neurovascular structures, and provides standardized measurements for establishing this portal for use in the arthroscopic Bankart-Bristow-Latarjet procedure.
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