Deltoid muscle disruption is a partial or complete rupture of the deltoid muscle from its attachment to bone. The deltoid is an important muscle for shoulder function and motion. With this rare injury, the deltoid muscle pulls off the roof of the shoulder (acromion), end of the collarbone, or part of the shoulder blade (scapula), resulting in loss of the attachment of the deltoid muscle and thus loss of function of this muscle. This condition happens most commonly following open shoulder surgery when a surgeon has surgically taken down and attempts to repair the deltoid muscle back to the acromion and the repair fails because the patient is not compliant after surgery. The deltoid muscle can also rupture from a direct blow or during forceful contraction. Deltoid muscle disruption can result in significant shoulder disfunction and a gross deformity. Surgical intervention is generally required to re-attach the deltoid back to its origin on the bone.
Dr Chudik opens a small, limited portion of the previous incision over the anterior shoulder. He then retracts the soft tissues and identifies the torn deltoid tendon. The insertion site of the deltoid on the acromion is also identified and prepared. Suture are placed in the bone along the insertion site and passed through the tendon end of deltoid muscle to tie down and reattach the tendon to the bone in its proper position. Then the arm is immobilized for six weeks with the arm of the patient abducted (elevated) away from the body to relax the tension in the repair. Following immobilization, it requires four to six months of rehabilitation before returning to physical activities such as weightlifting, etc.
You may return to unlimited activities when there is no pain and full shoulder range of motion, muscle strength and endurance, and functional use has been restored. This usually requires four to six months following a deltoid tendon repair. Dr. Chudik will tell you when it is safe to resume all activities. Dr. Chudik has special protocols for returning to throwing and golf.