This study evaluates the cosmetic appearance of the biceps muscle after arthroscopic, intra-articular biceps tenotomy versus tenodesis by presenting subjective outcome results in patients with refractive bicipital pain.

Retrospective study evaluating clinical follow-up of patients with refractive and chronic bicipital pain.

Five consecutive years of patients receiving biceps tenotomy (80 patients; 40 males, 40 females; average age, 58 years) or tenodesis (80 patients; 51 males, 29 females; average age, 54 years) procedures were retrospectively followed-up by grading anterior shoulder pain, muscle spasms in the biceps, and cosmetic deformity of the biceps muscle. Statistics were done by chi(2) analysis.

When assessing the follow-up questions, no statistical significance was found between the biceps tenotomy and biceps tenodesis groups. There was also no statistical significance when comparing the biceps tenotomy and biceps tenodesis groups when evaluating only the men, women, and men versus women with respect to the questions assessed.

In the majority of patients in which a biceps tenotomy is performed, we note that the cosmetic appearance of the biceps muscle, the grade of muscle spasms of the biceps, and the level of anterior shoulder pain would present with little difference than if a tenodesis had been performed. Therefore, a biceps tenotomy may be a reasonable alternative to a biceps tenodesis in patients with refractive and chronic bicipital pain.

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