Complications associated with subpectoral biceps tenodesis: Low rates of incidence following surgery

Shane J. Nho, Stefanie N. Reiff, Nikhil N. Verma, Mark A. Slabaugh, Augustus D. Mazzocca, Anthony A. Romeo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

173 Scopus citations


Background: Tenodesis of the long head of the biceps tendon is a common procedure used to alleviate pain caused by instability or inflammation of the tendon. The purpose of this study is to report on the incidence and types of complications following an open subpectoral biceps tenodesis (OBT) procedure. Hypothesis: Our hypothesis was that the rate of adverse events after OBT was low. Methods: From January 2005 to December 2007, all patients that underwent an OBT with bioabsorbable interference screw fixation performed by 1 of the 2 senior authors for biceps tendonitis were reviewed, excluding tenotomy, revision cases, or fixation methods other than interference screw fixation. Results: Over a 3-year period, 7 of 353 patients had complications with OBT with an incidence of 2.0%. The mean age of patients with complications was 44.67 years, with 57.1% males and 42.9% females. There were 2 patients (0.57%) with persistent bicipital pain. Two patients (0.57%) had failure of fixation resulting in a Popeye deformity. One patient (0.28%) presented with a deep postoperative wound infections that necessitated irrigation and debridement with intravenous antibiotics. Another patient (0.28%) developed a musculotaneous neuropathy. Another patient (0.28%) developed reflex sympathetic dystrophy necessitating pain management and stellate ganglion block. Conclusion: The incidence of complications after subpectoral biceps tenodesis with interference screw fixation in a population of 353 patients over the course of 3years was 2.0%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-768
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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