Distal biceps tendon repair: Comparison of surgical techniques Journal Articles uri icon

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  • PURPOSE: Various surgical repair techniques for distal biceps tendon ruptures have been reported, however, the optimal technique is unknown. METHODS: Over a 4-year period 19 distal biceps tendon ruptures were repaired: 9 using a single anterior incision and 10 using a modified 2-incision Boyd and Anderson technique. The patients were followed-up prospectively and independently reviewed. RESULTS: Patient-rated elbow evaluation and Short Form-36 (SF-36) scores improved with time independent of surgical technique. At 1 year the 1-incision group regained more flexion (142.8 degrees vs 131.1 degrees ) than the 2-incision group. There was no difference between groups in supination motion, supination strength, or flexion strength, although recovery of flexion strength was initially more rapid for the 2-incision group. Complications were encountered in 44% of cases treated with a 1-incision technique and in 10% of cases treated with the 2-incision technique; however, most of these were minor transient paresthesias. CONCLUSIONS: The differences between the 2 groups were relatively minor with the Morrey 2-incision technique showing a slightly more rapid recovery of flexion strength and fewer complications as compared with the 1-incision technique.


  • El-Hawary, Ron
  • MacDermid, Joy
  • Faber, Kenneth J
  • Patterson, Stuart D
  • King, Graham JW

publication date

  • May 2003