Partial rupture of the distal biceps tendon.

Durr HR, Stabler A, Pfahler M, Matzko M, Refior HJ. Clin Orthop 2000 May;(374):195-200.

Partial rupture of the distal biceps tendon is a relatively rare event, and various degrees of partial tendon tears have been reported. In the current study four patients with partial atraumatic distal biceps tendon tears (mean age, 59 years; range, 40-82 years) are reported. In all four patients, a common clinical pattern emerged. Pain at the insertion of the distal biceps tendon in the radius unrelated to any traumatic event was the main symptom. In all patients the diagnosis was based on magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography imaging. In three of four patients the partial rupture of the tendon caused a significant bursalike lesion. The typical appearance was a partially ruptured biceps tendon, with contrast enhancement signaling the degree of degeneration, tenosynovitis, and soft tissue swelling extending along the tendon semicircular to the proximal radius. In three patients, conservative treatment was successful. Only one patient needed surgery, with reinsertion of the tendon resulting in total functional recovery.