Surgical Treatment of Distal Biceps Rupture

Karen M. Sutton, MD, Seth D. Dodds, MD, Christopher S. Ahmad, MD and Paul M. Sethi, MD J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2010 18

Rupture of the distal biceps tendon accounts for 10% of all biceps brachii ruptures. Injuries typically occur in the dominant elbow of men aged 40 to 49 years during eccentric contraction of the biceps. Degenerative changes, decreased vascularity, and tendon impingement may precede rupture. Although nonsurgical management is an option, healthy, active persons with distal biceps tendon ruptures benefit from early surgical repair, gaining improved strength in forearm supination and, to a lesser degree, elbow flexion. Biomechanical studies have tested the strength and displacement of various repairs; the suspensory cortical button technique exhibits maximum peak load to failure in vitro, and suture anchor and interosseous screw techniques yield the least displacement. Surgical complications include sensory and motor neurapraxia, infection, and heterotopic ossification. Current trends in postoperative rehabilitation include an early return to motion and to activities of daily living.

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