Meta-analysis| Volume 36, ISSUE 12, P3081-3091, December 2020

A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Biceps Tenodesis Fixation Strengths: Fixation Type and Location Are Biomechanically Equivalent


      The purpose of this meta-analysis and systematic review was to critically evaluate the biomechanical outcomes of different fixation constructs for a variety of biceps tenodesis techniques in cadaveric models based on both type of fixation and location.


      A PROSPERO-registered systematic review (CCRD42018109243) of the current literature was conducted with the terms “long head of biceps” AND “tenodesis” AND “biomechanics” and numerous variations thereof in the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane databases, yielding 1,460 abstracts. After screening by eligibility criteria, 18 full-text articles were included. The individual biomechanical factors evaluated included ultimate load to failure (in newtons), stiffness (in newtons per millimeter), and cyclic displacement (in millimeters). After reviewing the included literature, we performed a quality analysis of the studies (Quality Appraisal for Cadaveric Studies scale score) and a meta-analysis comparing raw mean differences in data between the suprapectoral and subpectoral fixation location groups, as well as between the fixation construct groups.


      Among the 18 included studies, 347 cadaveric specimens were evaluated for ultimate load to failure, stiffness, and cyclic displacement when comparing both location (suprapectoral vs subpectoral) and tenodesis fixation type (interference screw vs cortical button, suture anchor, or all–soft-tissue techniques). Interference screw fixation showed significantly greater mean stiffness by 8.0 N/mm (P = .013) compared with the other grouped techniques but did not show significant differences when evaluated for ultimate load to failure and cyclic displacement (P = .28 and P = .18, respectively). Additionally, no difference in construct strength was seen when comparing the fixation strength of suprapectoral versus subpectoral techniques for stiffness, ultimate load to failure, and cyclic loading (P = .47, P = .053, and P = .13, respectively).


      In this meta-analysis, no significant biomechanical differences were found when the results were stratified by specific surgical technique (interference screw vs other tenodesis techniques) and location (suprapectoral vs subpectoral biceps tenodesis).

      Clinical Relevance

      As a result of this study, when biomechanically evaluating specific tenodesis constructs, the individual clinician has the liberty of choosing the fixation technique based on his or her preference and knowledge of shortcomings of each type of fixation construct.
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