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Latissimus Dorsi and Teres Major Tendon Avulsions in Cricketers

A Case Series and Literature Review

Naidu, Krishant S. MBBS, PG Dip Sp Med, FACSEP*; James, Trefor MBBS, FACSEP; Rotstein, Andrew H. MBBS, FRANZCR; Balster, Simon M. BPhty(hons), BSc(hons); Hoy, Gregory A. MBBS, FACSEP, FRACS§

Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine: May 2017 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p e24–e28
doi: 10.1097/JSM.0000000000000328
Case Report

Introduction: Acute latissimus dorsi tendon injuries are uncommon, having not previously been described in cricketers. The leg spinner's stock ball bowling technique and the fast bowler's back-of-the-hand slow ball, which is used much more widely in T20 cricket, produce a significant eccentric contraction load on the latissimus dorsi muscle.

Methodology: A retrospective review of a case series of acute latissimus dorsi tendon injuries in 3 elite cricketers (2 fast bowlers and a leg-spin bowler). We compare the outcomes using patient-rated scales and objective strength testing. Two patients underwent operative repair and had excellent outcomes. One of the nonoperatively managed patients had mild ongoing symptoms at 7 months.

Discussion: An associated injury to teres major did not affect the outcome of this injury. Operative repair is a viable alternative and may produce better outcomes in cricketers.

Conclusion: The short T20 form of cricket has lead to an increase in the number of back-of-the-hand slow balls, a risk factor for Latissimus injury, whereas leg-spin bowling is another risk.

*Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre, AAMI Park, Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia;

Lifecare Prahran Sports Medicine, Prahran, Victoria, Australia;

Victoria House Medical Imaging, Prahran, Victoria, Australia; and

§Melbourne Orthopaedic Group, and Monash University Department of Surgery, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Corresponding Author: Krishant S. Naidu, MBBS, PG Dip Sp Med, FACSEP, Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre, AAMI Park, Olympic Boulevard, Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia (

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

All authors were involved in the write-up, editing, and review process. All authors had full access to the study data, which were shared electronically and are kept in secure storage.

The patients for this study were enrolled as part of a prospective study on shoulder injuries and treatment. Ethics approval was granted by the Avenue Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee. All patients underwent informed consent (including signing forms) understanding that their data could be used for educational and research purposes.

Received December 18, 2014

Accepted February 23, 2016

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