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Volume: 38
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Index: December 2010
Clinical Focus:Respiratory Care
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December 2010
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doi: 10.3810/psm.2010.06.1790
The Physician and Sportsmedicine: Volume 38: No.2
Biceps Brachii Tendon Ruptures:
A Review of Diagnosis and Treatment of Proximal and Distal Biceps Tendon Ruptures
Lauren E. Geaney, MD And Augustus D. Mazzocca, MS, MD
Abstract: The biceps brachii is a unique muscle with 2 proximal tendons and a single distal tendon. Although these tendons are part of the same muscle, they have significantly different functions. It is hypothesized that the long head of the biceps acts as a pain generator in the shoulder, though the biomechanical function is still under debate. Conversely, the distal biceps tendon is the major supinator of the forearm and serves a secondary flexor. As such, injuries to these tendons must be evaluated independently. Biceps brachii ruptures most often occur in middle-aged men following a traumatic event. Injuries to the long head of the biceps are primarily treated nonoperatively with adequate results. Injuries of distal tendon occur less often, but are receiving significant attention in the literature in regard to treatment options. Surgical repair of distal biceps ruptures is indicated in patients who want to restore supination strength and endurance. It is unclear which operative technique is superior, although the most recent data suggest increased strength of the cortical button repair. This article provides a comprehensive review of both proximal and distal biceps brachii ruptures in addition to our treatment algorithm.

Keywords: distal biceps; proximal biceps; tendon rupture

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