Surgical indications for long head biceps tenodesis: a systematic review
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PURPOSE: Tenodesis as a treatment for a symptomatic long head of biceps (LHB) tendon is becoming more prevalent and new techniques exist which are purported to make the procedure faster and more effective. The determination of appropriate surgical indications for the procedure will facilitate proper analysis and comparisons of the varied techniques. This review analyses the reported indications in the literature in an attempt to guide future research and treatment. METHODS: The EMBASE and MEDLINE databases were searched to identify surgical studies that report indications for LHB tenodesis. After title, abstract searches, and full-text reviews, 39 studies were included. Study information was extracted including author, publication date, patient numbers, patient age, follow-up period, procedure performed, surgical indications, and study design. RESULTS: Although indications were variable and often non-descriptive, of the 39 included studies, the most common indications for LHB tenodesis were partial tearing (51 %), instability (49 %), or tenosynovitis (44 %), SLAP tear (28 %), and positive clinical exam for LHB pain (26 %). Most studies were of low quality of evidence, such as case series (33.0 %) and retrospective studies (43.5 %), and were of low-to-moderate methodological quality. CONCLUSION: Although indications used for LHB tenodesis are inconsistently reported, the most common indications include LHB tearing, instability, and tenosynovitis. Other indications include clinical exam indicating LHB pathology, SLAP tears and subjective shoulder pain. Rigorous reporting of indications and preoperative/operative findings should be emphasized in future studies, allowing surgeons to appropriately analyse outcomes of LHB tenodesis of different techniques within patient groups with distinct indications. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Systematic review, Level IV.
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