Biceps tenotomy has earlier pain relief compared to biceps tenodesis: a randomized prospective study.
PURPOSE: Surgical management for long head of the biceps (LHB) tendinopathy with either biceps tenotomy or tenodesis is a reliable, but debated treatment option. The aim of this prospective, randomized, single-blinded study is to evaluate differences in pain relief and subjective outcomes between biceps tenotomy versus tenodesis for LHB tendinopathy. METHODS: Subjects were randomized and blinded to biceps tenotomy versus arthroscopic tenodesis intra-operatively. Outcomes evaluated included subjective patient outcome scores, pain, and cosmetic deformity. Subjective outcomes scores and pain were analyzed using a two-way ANOVA, controlling for concomitant rotator cuff repair. Binary outcomes were compared using Chi-square tests. RESULTS: Thirty-four subjects (31 male, 3 female) with a median age of 56 (range 30-77) were enrolled. Twenty subjects were randomized to tenotomy and 14 to tenodesis. Fifty-six percent had concomitant rotator cuff repairs. The mean VAS pain score at 3 months was lower with tenotomy versus tenodesis. 2-year follow-up demonstrated no statistically significant differences for VAS, ASES, or SANE. 15/20 (75%) subjects with biceps tenotomy reported no pain medication use at the 2-week postoperative visit versus 5/14 (33%) for biceps tenodesis. Popeye deformity was found in 5/20 (25%) of tenotomy subjects versus 1/14 (7%) in tenodesis subjects. CONCLUSION: Outcomes appear similar between biceps tenotomy versus tenodesis; however, the tenotomy group demonstrated greater incidence of cosmetic deformity but an earlier improvement in postoperative pain. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Treatment Studies, Level II.
Belay, ES; Wittstein, JR; Garrigues, GE; Lassiter, TE; Scribani, M; Goldner, RD; Bean, CA
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