[Evaluation of surgical repair of distal biceps tendon ruptures]

J Behounek, M Hrubina, M Skoták, O Krumpl, M Zahálka, J Dvorák, M Fucík
Acta Chirurgiae Orthopaedicae et Traumatologiae Cechoslovaca 2009, 76 (1): 47-53
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY To present the results of surgical repair of ruptures of the distal tendon of the biceps brachii muscle and thus show the adequacy of this treatment. MATERIAL Between 1987 and 2006, 19 patients had surgery for distal biceps tendon rupture. Only one side was affected in each patient. All patients were men between 28 and 69 years (average age, 47.5 years) at the time of injury (surgery). When the patients were evaluated at the end of 2007, 18 patients were included, because one died a year after surgery. METHODS The surgical repair always included a single-incision anatomical reattachment into the radial tuberosity. In 11 patients, a modified Mac Reynolds method with screw and washer fixation was used; in seven patients the insertion was fixed with Mitek anchors and, in one, it was sutured to the adjacent soft tissues. The average follow-up was 7 years (range, 1 to 20.5 years). The patients were evaluated for the cause of injury, their physical activity, age, dominance of the injured arm, surgical procedure and complications. RESULTS In 18 patients surgical repair was done early and, in one, at 16 days after injury. In all of them the tendon was detached from its site of insertion, but never torn. The intra-operative complications included, in one patient, bleeding owing to iatrogenic damage to a branch of the brachial artery, and difficult separation of the tendon due to its previous healed injury in another patient. Early post-operative complications included superficial skin necrosis in one patient and transient neurological deficit of the dorsal brand of the radial nerve and of the lateral cutaneous nerve of the forearm in two and one patient, respectively. The late complications were heterotropic ossification in three patients and screw migration in the one treated by the Mac Reynolds method. Excellent results were recorded in 11 patients (61 %), and good outcomes with a slight restriction of motion or muscle strength not limiting the patient's physical activities were in six (33.5 %) patients; only one patient (5.5 %) experienced pain on moderate exercise and had recurrent heterotropic ossification. Apart from this condition, there was no difference in the frequency of complications associated with the method used. DISCUSSION Only sparse information on distal biceps tendon ruptures has been available in the relevant Czech literature and, if so, only small groups with short follow-ups have been involved. Conservative treatment or the methods of non-anatomical reattachment have poor functional outcomes. Much better results are achieved by anatomical reattachment. Based on our experience with the Mac Reynolds technique, an anterior single-incision approach using fixation with Mitek anchors can be recommended. CONCLUSIONS Early surgical repair involving anatomical reattachment from the anterior singleincision approach with two Mitek anchors is recommended when a rupture of the distal tendon insertion of the biceps brachii is diagnosed. Key words: biceps radii muscle, biceps tendon injury, tendon fixation, bone screw and washer use.

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