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A comparison of nonoperative vs. Endobutton repair of distal biceps ruptures


  • General Surgery

Document Type

Published Date

  • 2016


  • BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to compare the outcome of patients who have undergone distal biceps tendon repair by a single-incision Endobutton fixation technique with the results of another cohort of patients who elected not to undergo surgery for distal biceps tendon rupture. METHODS: A retrospective cohort study was performed of patients diagnosed with distal biceps ruptures, repaired with an Endobutton (Smith & Nephew, Andover, MA, USA) technique or treated nonoperatively by the senior surgeon (S.A.S.). With a minimum follow-up of 6 months, a routine elbow examination, radiographs, and functional questionnaires were performed. Isometric supination, flexion, and grip strength was measured using a BTE machine (Baltimore Therapeutic Equipment, Hanover, MD, USA). There were 47 patients available for follow-up with 50 distal biceps ruptures; 40 ruptures have undergone repair, and 10 have been managed nonoperatively. Three patients had sustained bilateral ruptures. RESULTS: There was a significant difference in flexion and supination isometric strength between the operative and nonoperative cohorts compared with the uninjured contralateral side (92.94% vs. 70.65%, P = .01512; 87.91% vs 59.11%, P = .00414, respectively). The difference in grip strengths between the 2 cohorts compared with the uninjured side was not significant (100.00% vs. 79.16%; P = .16002). The operated cohort had significantly better QuickDASH score, Oxford Elbow Score, and Mayo Elbow Performance Score (6.29 vs. 14.10, P = .02123; 44.71 vs. 38.70, P = .00429; 93.13 vs. 84.50, P = .01423). CONCLUSION: Repair of distal biceps ruptures using an Endobutton fixation results in nearly normal return of strength and function, which is significantly better than in those managed nonoperatively. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III, Retrospective Cohort Design; Treatment Study.
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