Repair of distal biceps tendon rupture: a new technique using the Endobutton

Bain GI, Prem H, Heptinstall RJ, Verhellen R, Paix D

Modbury Public Hospital, Australia.

The authors describe a technique with a single anterior incision and fixation with an internal button, the Endobutton.

The procedure is performed through a 5-cm transverse skin incision, and the tendon is sutured to the Endobutton with 2 number 5 Ethibond sutures. Surgical repair in the depths of the muscular forearm is not required, because the tendon is simply sutured external to the wound. The Endobutton delivers and locks the tendon into a hole in the radial tuberosity.

The Endobutton technique was used in 12 patients who were allowed early active mobilization. All were satisfied, returned to activities, and regained grade 5 strength. Average flexion was from 5 degrees to 146 degrees with 81 degrees supination and 80 degrees pronation. No neurovascular complications or synostosis occurred. In cadaveric studies the average distance from the biceps tendon were ulnar artery 6 mm, median nerve 12 mm, and posterior interosseous nerve 18 mm.

The average distance from the posterior interosseous nerve to a Steinman pin advanced through the proximal radius was 14 mm. This technique is a safe and effective method of repair of distal biceps tendon avulsion that allows active mobilization with minimal risk of complication.

J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2000 Mar-Apr;9(2):120-6