Sonographically guided distal biceps tendon injections: techniques and validation

Jacob L Sellon, Michael K Wempe, Jay Smith
Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine: Official Journal of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine 2014, 33 (8): 1461-74

OBJECTIVES: The primary purpose of this investigation was to describe and validate sonographically guided techniques for distal biceps peritendinous/intratendinous injections using a cadaveric model.

METHODS: A single experienced operator completed 18 sonographically guided distal biceps peritendinous injections and 15 sonographically guided distal biceps intratendinous injections in 18 unembalmed cadaveric elbow specimens (11 male and 7 female; age, 53-100 years; body mass index, 19.4-42.2 kg/m(2)). Four different peritendinous approaches were used to inject 3 mL of diluted yellow latex: (1) anterior/superficial, (2) posterior/superficial, (3) posterior/deep/short-axis (to the distal biceps tendon), and (4) posterior/deep/long-axis (to the distal biceps tendon). Three different intratendinous approaches were used to inject 1 mL of diluted blue latex: (1) anterior, (2) anterior/pronator window, and (3) posterior. The feasibility of all 7 injections was assessed by the operator in all specimens, and execution difficulty was recorded after each injection. Specimens were subsequently dissected to assess injectate placement.

RESULTS: All 18 peritendinous distal biceps tendon injections accurately placed latex around the tendon without injecting into the tendon proper. All posterior/superficial peritendinous injections delivered injectate to the ulnar side of the tendon. All posterior/deep peritendinous injections delivered injectate to the radial side of the tendon, with the long-axis approach being technically easier than the short-axis approach. Anterior/superficial peritendinous injections delivered injectate predominantly to the anterior side of the tendon and resulted in 1 brachial artery injury. All but 1 of 15 distal biceps intratendinous injections (93%) accurately placed injectate into the tendon proper, with 1 of 5 anterior injections delivering injectate primarily deep to the paratenon. The posterior intratendinous approach was technically the easiest. No intratendinous injection resulted in neurovascular injury.

CONCLUSIONS: Sonographically guided distal biceps peritendinous/intratendinous injections are feasible and therefore may play a role in the management of patients presenting with distal biceps tendinopathy/bursopathy.

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