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Clin Anat. 2009 Apr;22(3):346-51. doi: 10.1002/ca.20786.

Distal biceps brachii tendon anatomy revisited from a surgical perspective.

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Laboratory of Human Anatomy, Faculty of Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.


The distal biceps brachii tendon is commonly susceptible to traumatic injury. This study aimed to describe the morphology of the distal biceps brachii tendon in relation to the commonly used endobutton repair of tendon rupture. The results suggested that the distal tendon is a series of distinct bands of variable number. These bands are obscured surgically by the tendon sheath. Upon opening this sheath, blunt dissection of the tendon released fibrous connections between the tendon bands. Adjacent bands were variably connected via small oblique bands. The separations between bands were continuous onto the radius. They were therefore considered as separate force-conducting units. This notion is of high relevance to endobutton repairs, as the sutures are typically only passed through the margins of the tendon. Where few connections exist between tendinous bands, this represents a potential weakness, as central bands are therefore free to be pulled proximally. This is of primary concern in the early rehabilitative stages of postoperative care. It may be suggested that sutures that cross the width of the tendon will eliminate the give of central bands, improving postoperative results, reducing revision numbers, and potentially reducing rehabilitation time.

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