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J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2016 Jun;25(6):1013-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2016.01.014. Epub 2016 Mar 31.

Distal biceps reconstruction using an Achilles tendon allograft, transosseous EndoButton, and Pulvertaft weave with tendon wrap technique for retracted, irreparable distal biceps ruptures.

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Upper Limb Unit, Wrightington Hospital, Wigan, UK; Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals, Brighton, UK. Electronic address:
Upper Limb Unit, Wrightington Hospital, Wigan, UK.



Distal biceps ruptures can result in ongoing pain and weakness when treated nonoperatively. If retraction of the tendon renders primary repair impossible, reconstruction using a graft is recommended. The current literature includes a variety of techniques with studies reporting small patient numbers. The aim of this study was to report the results of a larger cohort of patients using a technique modified from those previously described in the literature.


Twenty-one consecutive male patients underwent distal biceps reconstruction through 2 small anterior incisions using an Achilles tendon allograft that was fixed distally using a transosseous EndoButton and secured proximally using a Pulvertaft weave and tendon wrap. The mean age was 44 years, and the mean time to surgery was 25 months (range, 2-96 months). Functional outcomes were collected prospectively.


The mean preoperative Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (QuickDASH) score (11 patients) was 1.9 (range, 0-4.5). The mean postoperative Oxford Elbow Score, QuickDASH score, and Mayo Elbow Performance Score were 44.7 (range, 35-48), 4 (range, 0-20.5), and 92.9 (range, 70-100), respectively, at a mean follow up of 15 months (range, 6-35 months). The mean postoperative QuickDASH score was significantly improved compared with preoperatively (P < .001). All patients were satisfied and all returned to their previous level of activity. There were 2 transient lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve paresthesias, and 2 patients had a 5° extension lag. There were no other complications.


Achilles allograft reconstruction of retracted irreparable distal biceps ruptures provides consistently good results with few complications using this technique.


Achilles; Biceps tendon; allograft; chronic; distal; graft

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