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J Clin Ultrasound. 2015 Jul-Aug;43(6):361-6. doi: 10.1002/jcu.22189. Epub 2014 Jun 25.

Feasibility of ultrasound-guided percutaneous tenotomy of the long head of the biceps tendon--A pilot cadaveric study.

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Health Pointe, Pain, Spine, & Sports Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Department Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Department of Medical Imaging, Royal University Hospital, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.



To describe an ultrasound-guided proximal percutaneous tenotomy technique of long head of the biceps tendon (LHBT).


Three fresh cadavers with no prior shoulder surgery or LHBT tears were included in the study. A single experienced musculoskeletal radiologist completed six ultrasound-guided proximal percutaneous tenotomies of LHBT. A superficial to deep approach was performed on four shoulders using an arthroscopic banana blade or retractable blade. A deep to superficial approach was performed on two shoulders using an arthroscopic hook blade. A blinded anatomist dissected each specimen and graded the tenotomy, length of proximal LHBT stump, and evidence of iatrogenic injuries.


Four of the six cadaveric LHBTs were fully transected. The two partially transected tenotomies were performed using the arthroscopic banana and retractable serrated blades (63% and 80% transections, respectively). The proximal LHBT stump mean length was 2.6 cm (95% CI, 1.8-3.4). There was no evidence of iatrogenic lesions.


This cadaveric study showed that the ultrasound-guided percutaneous tenotomy of the LHBT is a feasible procedure. The deep to superficial approach using an arthroscopic hook blade resulted in complete transection. Further cadaveric studies with larger numbers are warranted to confirm this novel technique's applicability in clinical practice.


arthroscopy; musculoskeletal; rotator cuff; tendinopathy; tendon release; ultrasonography

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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