Suprapectoral biceps tenodesis: A biomechanical comparison of a new "soft anchor" tenodesis technique versus interference screw biceps tendon fixation

Massimiliano Baleani, Dunia Francesconi, Lorenzo Zani, Sandro Giannini, Stephen J. Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background The interference screw technique is commonly used in tenodesis of the long head of the biceps for its well-documented robust fixation strength. Some complications may occur after tenodesis with interference screw such as persistent pain, bone fracture and cyst formation. A new technique using a small "soft anchor" has been proposed to avoid the risk of occurrence of the above-mentioned complications associated with the use of the interference screw. However, the proposed technique must provide adequate fixation strength. This study investigated the mechanical performance of the new technique and compared it with interference screw fixation. Methods Fourteen human humeri and proximal biceps were tested after tenodesis using the two techniques. The fixation constructs were cycled 500 times between 20 N and 100 N at 1 Hz to simulate some level of post-operative physical activity. Then, a tensile test to failure was performed to determine the strength of the two tenodesis constructs. Findings The ultimate strength was 238 N (SD 96 N) and 172 N (SD 58 N) for the "soft anchor" and the interference screw, respectively (P = 0.14). In two out of seven repetitions in both groups, failure occurred at low load level due to inaccuracies in performing tenodesis. Considering these cases as outliers, the strength values increased up to 290 N (SD 40 N) and 202 N (SD 32 N) for the "soft anchor" and the interference screw, respectively (P = 0.02). Interpretation The "soft anchor" technique provides a fixation strength comparable with the interference screw, but without using a screw. It could be considered as an alternative for suprapectoral biceps tenodesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-194
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2015

Keywords

  • Biceps tenodesis
  • Biomechanics
  • Fixation stiffness
  • Fixation strength
  • Mode of failure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Biophysics
  • Medicine(all)

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