Proximal ruptures. Ruptures of the long head of the M. biceps humeri are commonly caused by degenerative changes within the tendon. Non-operative treatment gives good results, the loss of power regarding elbow flexion and supination amounts to only 8-21%. Refixation may be indicated for cosmetic reasons and offers a small but evident improvement of flexion and supination power. Deformity of the slipped muscle can be corrected effectively. Residual complaints after conservative treatment often result from associated subacromial problems. Distal ruptures. Ruptures of the distal tendon should be treated operatively. The loss of power after conservative treatment is evident (30-40% for flexion, >50% for supination). Extra-anatomical tenodesis to the brachialis muscle or anatomical fixation to the radial tuberosity can be applied. Flexion power and cosmesis can be addressed by both techniques. If supination strength is to be restored, the tendon has to be fixed anatomically. Preparation of the tuberosity bears the risk of heterotopic ossification or nerve damage. Mini-open techniques, using only a limited anterior approach, may decrease risks.
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