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Muscular strength after rupture of the long head of the biceps

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To measure muscular strength after rupture of the long head of the biceps brachii, we evaluated ten patients treated conservatively and five surgically with the Cybex II testing machine, and compared the values with the data on 20 healthy individuals. In the conservative group, the strength of elbow flexion was diminished by 16%, of supination of the forearm by 11%, and of shoulder abduction by 16%. The patients who underwent surgery lost, on average, only 8% strength for elbow flexion and 7% for forearm supination. Shoulder abduction was decreased by 20%.

A moderate advantage was thus found for elbow flexion and forearm supination. Surgical treatment can be recommended for younger individuals, manual workers, and sportsmen, and rarely for cosmetic reasons, or when a subacromial impingement due to a disturbing proximal tendon stump is present.


Zur Evaluation des Kraftanteiles des langen Bicepsmuskels wurden 10 konservativ und 5 operativ behandelte proximale Sehnenrupturen mit dem Cybex-II-Meßgerät isokinetisch mit verschiedenen Winkelgeschwindigkeiten geprüft und mit 20 Kontrollpersonen verglichen. Die Krafteinbuße betrug bei konservativ behandelten Sehnenrissen am Ellbogen 16% Beugekraft, am Vorderarm 11% Supinationskraft und am Schultergelenk 16% Abduktionskraft. Bei operierten Patienten ergaben sich Verluste von 8%, 7% bzw. 20% für die entsprechenden Funktionen. Die Operation kann somit den Beuge- und Supinationskraftverlust um ca. die Hälfte verringern, ist indessen der Schulterabspreizkraft abträglich. Entsprechend kann sie jüngeren Patienten, Handwerkern und Sportlern empfohlen werden. Selten ist sie indiziert aus kosmetischen Gründen oder wenn ein zurückbleibender proximaler Sehnenstumpf eine subakromiale Entzündung verursacht.

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Correspondence to Dr. M. Sturzenegger.

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Sturzenegger, M., Béguin, D., Grünig, B. et al. Muscular strength after rupture of the long head of the biceps. Arch. Orth. Traum. Surg. 105, 18–23 (1986). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00625654

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  • Young Individual
  • Manual Worker
  • Muscular Strength
  • Biceps Brachii
  • Elbow Flexion