One- Versus Two-Incision Technique for Distal Biceps Tendon Repair

Timothy S. Johnson, MD
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery
The National Sports Medicine Institute


David C. Johnson, MD
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery
The National Sports Medicine Institute


Michael K. Shindle, MD
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery


Answorth A. Allen, MD
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery


Andrew J. Weiland, MD
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hospital for Special Surgery


John Cavanaugh, PT
Sports Medicine Service, Hospital for Special Surgery


Dennis Noonan
Rehabilitation (ATC, LMT, CEAS I), Hospital for Special Surgery


Stephen Lyman, PhD
Epidemiology and Biostatistics Department, Hospital for Special Surgery


Abstract
There are several techniques that have been described for distal biceps tendon repair but there is still controversy regarding the optimal technique. Our hypothesis is that the single-incision technique will have a similar complication rate and functionally equivalent restoration of function compared with the two-incision approach. A retrospective review of consecutive biceps tendon repairs was performed at one institution over a 5-year period. Thirty-six patients met the inclusion criteria and 26 were available for follow-up including subjective assessment, physical examination, and strength testing. Patients were divided into two groups based on the surgical approach utilized: 12 patients underwent single-incision repair and 14 had a two-incision repair. The average follow-up was 33 months (minimum 13; maximum 75). There were no statistically significant differences in regards to flexion strength or endurance, supination strength or endurance, or complication rates between the two techniques. In conclusion, both surgical techniques led to adequate restoration of strength with a low complication rate. Both techniques are safe to perform and should be guided by surgeon comfort with the approach.

This Article appears in HSS Journal: Volume 4, Number 2.
View the full article at springerlink.com.

About the HSS Journal
HSS Journal, an academic peer-reviewed journal, is published twice a year, February and September, and features articles by internal faculty and HSS alumni that present current research and clinical work in the field of musculoskeletal medicine performed at HSS, including research articles, surgical procedures, and case reports.


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