Rupture of the short head component of a bifurcated distal biceps tendon

Pramod B. Voleti, Jennifer L. Berkowitz, Gabrielle P. Konin, Frank A. Cordasco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Rupture of the short head component of a bifurcated distal biceps tendon is a rare injury that may be difficult to diagnose and to treat. Methods Three cases of patients with selective disruption of the short head of the biceps distal tendon from a single institution are reported. The presenting history, physical examination, imaging studies, operative findings, and treatment strategies are described. Results In each case, the mechanism of injury was forceful flexion of the involved elbow against an eccentric load. Notable physical examination findings included a palpable tendon in the antecubital fossa, a “reverse Popeye” deformity, and pain and weakness with resisted forearm supination and elbow flexion. Careful review of the magnetic resonance imaging studies demonstrated the classic findings for this unique injury. All 3 patients successfully returned to their baseline level of activity after anatomic repair of the short head component with or without independent repair of the long head component (depending on the degree of partial tearing seen intraoperatively). Discussion/Conclusions Rupture of the short head component of a bifurcated distal biceps tendon is a rare injury that can be easily misdiagnosed and mistreated. A meticulous physical examination and evaluation of imaging is required to differentiate this injury from a partial or complete tear of a common distal biceps tendon. Clinicians should maintain a high index of suspicion for this unusual injury pattern. When it is diagnosed appropriately, selective disruption of the short head of the biceps distal tendon may be effectively treated with anatomic repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-408
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Fingerprint

Tendons
Rupture
Wounds and Injuries
Physical Examination
Elbow
Supination
Diagnostic Errors
Tears
Forearm
History
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Pain

Keywords

  • bifid distal biceps
  • Bifurcated distal biceps
  • distal biceps rupture
  • distal biceps tear
  • long head of biceps
  • short head of biceps

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Cite this

Rupture of the short head component of a bifurcated distal biceps tendon. / Voleti, Pramod B.; Berkowitz, Jennifer L.; Konin, Gabrielle P.; Cordasco, Frank A.

In: Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, Vol. 26, No. 3, 01.03.2017, p. 403-408.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Voleti, Pramod B. ; Berkowitz, Jennifer L. ; Konin, Gabrielle P. ; Cordasco, Frank A. / Rupture of the short head component of a bifurcated distal biceps tendon. In: Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery. 2017 ; Vol. 26, No. 3. pp. 403-408.
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