REVIEW – February 2023

Reconstruction of chronic tear of the distal biceps tendon with a semitendinosus autograft

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Distal biceps tendon rupture is a rare injury. A traumatic episode during heavy lifting is the main pattern of injury pattern in male
patients. Loss of tension of the distal biceps tendon and proximal migration of the biceps muscle are the first diagnostic signs. Ultrasound is a cheap and fast optional diagnostic tool for detecting acute rupture. In some cases misdiagnosis is possible. Chronic ruptures of the distal biceps tendons are very uncommon conditions with chronic pain and loss of muscle strength in the affected limb. In most of cases direct fixation of the tendon in the anatomic location is not any more possible. In chronic cases tendon reconstruction with a tendon auto-or allograft is a treatment option. An autologous semitendinosus muscle tendon was harvested in three patients after 9-, 11- and 18-month chronic distal biceps tendon rupture for reconstruction purposes. The ultrabutton S&N, US fixation device was used for radial fixation. Non- anatomic, but functional biceps tendon autologous reconstruction was performed in all cases of chronic distal biceps tendon rupture with excellent functional results at Tartu University Hospital.