Higher failure rate of suture anchors in partial distal biceps tendon ruptures in comparison with Endobutton fixation

Elisabeth Wörner, Iris van Oost, Denise Eygendaal, Bertram The

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Little is known about the preferred repair technique of partial tears of the distal biceps tendon. In this study, suture anchors were compared with the Endobutton technique for repair of partial distal biceps tendon ruptures, especially regarding failure rate. Methods: A total of 59 patients with 62 partial distal biceps ruptures underwent surgical treatment between 2008 and 2019. Repair of the partially ruptured distal biceps tendon was performed using suture anchors (n = 21) or an Endobutton (n = 41). Postoperative evaluation consisted of integrity and physical examination of the distal biceps tendon, range of motion, stability, neurologic status, and radiographs in AP view and lateral direction of the elbow. Results: At a median follow-up of 14 (1-82) months in all patients, a total of 5 patients had a rerupture of the reconstructed distal biceps tendon (8.1%). A significant higher rerupture rate was seen in the suture anchor group (n = 4) than in the Endobutton group (n = 1) (P = .04). The other outcome measures were similar between groups. Other than rerupture rate, there were complications in 21 patients (34%). The major symptomatic complication was attributed to lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve neuropraxia (n = 8, 15%). Heterotopic ossifications were seen in 12 patients (34%), and ossifications were symptomatic in 4 of these patients (33%). Conclusion: A significantly higher failure rate was seen after repair of a partial distal biceps rupture using suture anchors than by using an Endobutton technique. Overall, both techniques were accompanied with complications, in particular, lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve neuropraxia neuropraxia and the formation of heterotopic ossifications, though clinically less relevant than a rerupture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-826
Number of pages6
JournalJSES international
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2021


  • Complications
  • Cortical button
  • Distal biceps tendon
  • Elbow
  • Endobutton
  • Heterotopic ossifications
  • Level III
  • Partial tear
  • Rerupture
  • Retrospective Cohort Comparison
  • Rupture
  • Study
  • Treatment

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