Distal Biceps Tendon Repair Using a Modified Double-Incision Technique : Patient-Reported Outcomes With 10-Year Follow-up.
Background:In the setting of complete distal biceps tendon rupture, surgical repair has become the standard of care to restore optimal elbow function, but the optimal approach and method of tendon fixation are still subjects of debate and have remained controversial for more than half a century. Purpose:To evaluate patient-reported long-term outcomes after distal biceps tendon repair using a modified double-incision technique. Study Design:Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods:We reviewed primary distal biceps tendon repairs after isolated tendon rupture using the modified muscle-splitting double-incision approach and transosseous suture fixation technique described by Morrey et al (1985), which had been performed at our level 1 trauma center between January 2000 and December 2013. Outcome measures included the subjective elbow value (SEV), the Oxford Elbow Score (OES) with its 3 domains (function, pain, and social-psychological), a self-performed hook test, and the 3-level version of the EuroQoL 5-dimensional instrument (EQ-5D-3L) as a measure of health status. Levels of overall satisfaction were determined by asking whether the patient would consent to the operation again. In addition, patients were asked to report any complications. Results:A total of 30 patients met the inclusion criteria, and 25 patients were available for the survey. Mean age at the time of rupture was 47 years. All patients were male. Mean follow-up was 120 months (range, 57-207 months). The follow-up rate was 83.34%. The following outcome results were obtained: SEV, 88.16% ± 25.18%; OES, 43.80 ± 10.56 out of 48 points; OES Pain, 92.50% ± 23.03%; OES Function, 92.25% ± 22.19%; OES Social-Psychological, 89% ± 23.68%; EQ-5D-3L, 0.93 ± 0.21. All patients described a negative hook test. Patient-reported complications included painless limitation in forearm rotation in 8% of patients (n = 2); reduced flexion and forearm rotation strength with and without pain in 8% (n = 2) and 4% (n = 1), respectively; synostosis after 1 year requiring revision surgery in 4% (n = 1); and transient wrist drop in 4% (n = 1). The overall complication rate was 28% (7/25), and 96% (n = 24) would consent to the operation again. Conclusion:Despite the cited approach-related morbidity, we report an excellent patient-reported long-term outcome for the double-incision distal biceps repair technique.