Clinical outcomes of single-incision suture anchor repair of distal biceps tendon rupture

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Background:Rupture of the distal biceps tendon remains an uncommon injury that is ideally treated by operative repair. Single-incision anterior approach with suture anchor repair is one such method. The purpose of this study was to describe the outcomes in patients who underwent repair of the distal biceps tendon with single anterior incision and suture anchor repair.Methods:One hundred and nineteen patients (120 repairs) with distal biceps tendon repairs between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2012 were identified and their charts retrospectively reviewed. Twenty-five of these patients participated in additional collection of outcome data including range of motion, strength, pain, satisfaction, and clinical outcome.Results:In the retrospective analysis, the population was 93% male. Average age was 47.3 yr; however, females had a significantly higher mean age (62.5). Most of the patients (69.8%) returned to full or partial work. The additional data collection cohort reported high satisfaction, little-to-no pain on visual analog scale (VAS) and average Disability of the Arm Shoulder and Hand (DASH) scores. Patients with workers’ compensation claims reported significantly higher pain and worse DASH scores. There was small but significant loss of pronation, and a small loss of grip strength that approached significance.Conclusions:Single anterior incision with suture anchor repair may be utilized for repair of ruptures of the distal biceps tendon with good clinical and functional outcomes and minimal loss of range of motion and strength. Females tend to be older at presentation than males with this condition. As in other studies, workers’ compensation claims were associated with poorer clinical outcomes.Level of Evidence:Therapeutic, level IV, case series study.

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