Article

Rupture of the distal biceps brachii tendon: conservative treatment versus anatomic reinsertion--clinical and radiological evaluation after 2 years.

Istituto Chirurgico Ortopedico Traumatologico, Via del Lido, 110, 04100 Latina, Italy.
Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery (Impact Factor: 1.31). 11/2007; 127(8):705-8. DOI: 10.1007/s00402-007-0326-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Distal biceps tendon rupture is a relatively rare injury. It commonly occurs in the dominant extremity of middle-aged men during an excessive eccentric tension as the arm is forced from a flexed position, while it is rarely observed during sport activities. Many techniques, including non-operative and surgical option, have been described for the treatment of a ruptured distal biceps tendon, but there is still considerable controversy about the management of choice.
Nine patients affected with traumatic distal tendon ruptures of the biceps brachii were followed-up for a minimum of 24 months. Five patients underwent surgery (two-incision technique) and four patients were treated conservatively. Tendon readaptation to its origin was done by a suture metal anchor. Outcome was evaluated based on the physical examination, radiographic analysis and the SECEC elbow score.
The SECEC elbow score results show that every single item result is in favour of surgical treatment. On measurements of motion, we found a slight flexion-extension deficit in two patients, but reduced supination in six patients and reduced pronation in four. Two patients had postoperative dysfunction of the deep branch of the radial nerve. Radiographic examination showed heterotopic bone formation on the radial tuberosity around the presumed insertion of the reattached tendon in 2 of 5 patients and ectopic ossification more proximally in the area of the biceps muscle
Our findings confirm the view that anatomic repair of distal biceps tendon rupture provides consistently good results and early anatomic reconstruction can restore strength and endurance for the elbow.

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    ABSTRACT: Objectives were to study the MRI appearance of the repaired distal biceps tendon (DBT), anatomically reinserted, and to search for a correlation between tendon measurements and functional results. Twenty-five patients (mean age, 49 ± 4.9 years old) who benefited from 3-T MRI follow-up of the elbow after surgical reinsertion of the DBT were retrospectively included and compared to a control group (n = 25; mean age, 48 ± 10 years old). MRI was performed during the month of clinical follow-up and on average 22 months after surgery. Delayed complications (secondary avulsion, new rupture), intratendinous osteoma, tendinous signal on T1-weighted (T1w) and fat-suppressed proton density-weighted (FS-PDw) images as well as DBT measurements were recorded. The maximum isometric elbow flexion strength (MEFS) and range of motion of the elbow were assessed. Repaired DBT demonstrated a heterogeneous but normally fibrillar structure. Its low T1w signal was less pronounced than that of normal tendons, and the FS-PDW image signal was similar to that of T1w images. MRI detected seven osteomas (Se = 53 % vs. plain radiography), one textiloma and one secondary avulsion. Repaired DBT measurements were significantly correlated with MEFS (dominant arm R2: 0.38; nondominant arm R2: 0.54); this correlation involved the insertion surface (Δ = -75.7 mm(2), p = 0.046), transverse diameter (Δ = -2.6 mm, p = 0.018), anteroposterior diameter at the level of the radial head (Δ = -3.9 mm, p = 0.001) and DBT cross-sectional area (Δ = -50.2 mm(2), p = 0.003). The quality of functional outcome after anatomical elbow rehabilitation of DBT correlates with the extent of tendinous hypertrophy during the healing process.
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