All-Arthroscopic Suprapectoral Versus Open Subpectoral Tenodesis of the Long Head of the Biceps Brachii Without the Use of Interference Screws

Published:September 19, 2016DOI:


      To compare patient-reported outcomes and healing rates after open subpectoral and all-arthroscopic suprapectoral biceps tenodesis without the use of interference screws in patients with more than 2 years of follow-up.


      Patients with at least 2 years of follow-up who underwent open subpectoral biceps tenodesis or all-arthroscopic suprapectoral biceps tenodesis without concomitant rotator cuff repair, labral repair, or Mumford procedure were considered for enrollment in the study. They were evaluated for visual analog scale (VAS), American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, and satisfaction with function and biceps contour. Ultrasonography was performed to evaluate the integrity of the tenodesis site and measure biceps muscle diameters on each arm.


      Forty-nine patients were eligible for our study and of these, 38 were able to participate. Twenty-three patients had open subpectoral biceps tenodesis and 15 received all-arthroscopic suprapectoral biceps tenodesis. The average follow-up time was 4.5 years (range 2-9.1 years). There were no significant differences in anterior shoulder pain VAS, ASES scores, or satisfaction rates. The average anterior shoulder VAS was 0.7 ± 1.1 for the open group and 0.9 ± 1.8 for the arthroscopic group (P = .74). The mean ASES score for the open group was 90.6 ± 11.4 and 91.4 ± 13.9 for the arthroscopic group (P = .69). All patients had an intact tenodesis site on ultrasonography and the ratio of operative to nonoperative biceps diameters was 100.2% ± 12.8% for the open group and 99.1% ± 10.8% for the arthroscopic group (P = .66). There were no infections and no brachial plexus injuries in either group.


      Open subpectoral biceps tenodesis and all-arthroscopic suprapectoral biceps tenodesis are both successful surgeries with consistently positive outcomes. Tenodesis can be performed in either location without interference screw fixation with durable, reliable results.

      Level of Evidence

      Level III, retrospective comparative trial.
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