Current Management of Distal Biceps Tears

Michael Howard, MD

Disclosures

Curr Orthop Pract. 2018;29(2):135-139. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Although not reported to be common, rupture of the distal biceps tendon is an injury that results in a loss of supination and flexion strength. The injury is most commonly caused by eccentric load on a flexed elbow. At the time of injury, a noticeable "pop or tear" is usually experienced and a clinical deformity is often apparent. Current treatment for this injury is often anatomic surgical reattachment of the tendon to the radial tuberosity. This article is a brief review highlighting recent literature in the past year that adds to our understanding of treatment.

Introduction

Although not reported to be common, rupture of the distal biceps tendon is an injury that results in a loss of supination and flexion strength. The estimated incidence in the United States is 1.2–2.5 per 100,000 patients per year.[1,2] The injury is most commonly seen in middle aged males and is often caused by eccentric load on a flexed elbow.[1–4] At the time of injury, a noticeable "pop, snap, tear" is often felt or heard, and a clinical deformity known as the "reverse Popeye" often is readily apparent. Current treatment for this injury often is surgical reattachment; however, nonoperative management may be preferable for some patients. The following is a brief review highlighting recent literature in the past year that adds to our understanding of methods of treatment and pathophysiology of this injury.

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