Monocortical fixation of the coracoid in the Latarjet procedure is significantly weaker than bicortical fixation

  • Uli Schmiddem
  • Nael Hawi
  • Emmanouil Liodakis
  • Antonios Dratzidis
  • Manuel Kraemer
  • Christof Hurschler
  • Richard Page
  • Rupert Meller



A crucial step of the Latarjet procedure is the fixation of the coracoid process onto the glenoid. Multiple problems associated with the fixation have been described, including lesions of the suprascapular nerve due to prominence of the screw or bicortical drilling. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate whether monocortical fixation, without perforating the posterior glenoid cortex, would provide sufficient graft stability.


Coracoid transfer was performed in 14 scapula models (Sawbones®, Composite Scapula, 4th generation). Two groups were assigned: in one group, fixation was achieved with two screws that did not perforate the posterior cortex of the glenoid neck (monocortical fixation), in the other group, fixation was achieved with perforation of the posterior cortex (bicortical fixation). The ultimate failure load and mode of failure were evaluated biomechanically.


Monocortical fixation was a significantly weaker construct than bicortical fixation (median failure load 221 N, interquartile range 211–297 vs. median failure load 423 N, interquartile range 273–497; p = 0.017). Failure was either due to a pullout of the screws from the socket or a fracture of the glenoid. There was no significant difference in the mode of failure between the two groups (n.s.).


Monocortical fixation was significantly weaker than bicortical fixation. However, bicortical drilling and overly long screws may jeopardize the suprascapular nerve. Thus, anatomic knowledge about the safe zone at the posterior rim of the glenoid is crucial. Until further research has evaluated, if the inferior stability is clinically relevant, clinicians should be cautious to use a monocortical fixation technique for the coracoid graft.


Shoulder instability Latarjet procedure Coracoid transfer Coracoid fixation Monocortical fixation Bicortical fixation Suprascapular nerve Complication 



Diana Perriman, PhD, Trauma and Orthopaedic Research Unit, Canberra Hospital, Woden, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, and Kevin Eng, Orthopaedic Department, St. John of God Hospital and University Hospital Geelong, Australia, for editing and valuable input.


Funding awarded by AXIS-Forschungsstiftung (Hamburg, Germany) was used for all materials required for performing this experimental study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.


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Copyright information

© European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery, Arthroscopy (ESSKA) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Trauma DepartmentHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany
  2. 2.Laboratory of Biomechanics and BiomaterialsHannover Medical SchoolHannoverGermany
  3. 3.Orthopaedic Department, St. John of God Hospital and University Hospital Geelong, School of MedicineDeakin UniversityGeelongAustralia

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