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1.  Does Eccentric Exercise Reduce Pain and Improve Strength in Physically Active Adults With Symptomatic Lower Extremity Tendinosis? A Systematic Review 
Journal of Athletic Training  2007;42(3):409-421.
Objective: To critically review evidence for the effectiveness of eccentric exercise to treat lower extremity tendinoses.
Data Sources: Databases used to locate randomized controlled trials (RCTs) included PubMed (1980–2006), CINAHL (1982–2006), Web of Science (1995–2006), SPORT Discus (1980–2006), Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), and the Cochrane Collaboration Database. Key words included tendon, tendonitis, tendinosis, tendinopathy, exercise, eccentric, rehabilitation, and therapy.
Study Selection: The criteria for trial selection were (1) the literature was written in English, (2) the research design was an RCT, (3) the study participants were adults with a clinical diagnosis of tendinosis, (4) the outcome measures included pain or strength, and (5) eccentric exercise was used to treat lower extremity tendinosis.
Data Extraction: Specific data were abstracted from the RCTs, including eccentric exercise protocol, adjunctive treatments, concurrent physical activity, and treatment outcome.
Data Synthesis: The calculated post hoc statistical power of the selected studies (n = 11) was low, and the average methodologic score was 5.3/10 based on PEDro criteria. Eccentric exercise was compared with no treatment (n = 1), concentric exercise (n = 5), an alternative eccentric exercise protocol (n = 1), stretching (n = 2), night splinting (n = 1), and physical agents (n = 1). In most trials, tendinosis-related pain was reduced with eccentric exercise over time, but only in 3 studies did eccentric exercise decrease pain relative to the control treatment. Similarly, the RCTs demonstrated that strength-related measures improved over time, but none revealed significant differences relative to the control treatment. Based on the best evidence available, it appears that eccentric exercise may reduce pain and improve strength in lower extremity tendinoses, but whether eccentric exercise is more effective than other forms of therapeutic exercise for the resolution of tendinosis symptoms remains questionable.
PMCID: PMC1978463  PMID: 18059998
rehabilitation; Achilles tendon; patellar tendon; tendon
Complete rupture of the distal tendon of the biceps brachii is relatively rare and there is little information to guide therapists in rehabilitation after this injury. The purposes of this case report are to review the rehabilitation concepts used for treating such an injury, and discuss how to modify exercises during rehabilitation based on patient progression while adhering to physician recommended guidelines and standard treatment protocols.
Case Presentation:
The patient was an active 38‐year old male experienced in weight‐training. He presented with a surgically repaired right distal biceps tendon following an accident on a trampoline adapted with a bungee suspension harness. The intervention focused on restoring range of motion and strengthening of the supporting muscles of the upper extremity without placing undue stress on the biceps brachii.
The patient was able to progress from a moderate restriction in ROM to full AROM two weeks ahead of the physician's post‐operative orders and initiate a re‐strengthening protocol by the eighth week of rehabilitation. At the eighth post‐operative week the patient reported no deficits in functional abilities throughout his normal daily activities with his affected upper extremity.
The results of this case report strengthen current knowledge regarding physical therapy treatment for a distal biceps tendon repair while at the same time providing new insights for future protocol considerations in active individuals. Most current protocols do not advocate aggressive stretching, AROM, or strengthening of a surgically repaired biceps tendon early in the rehabilitation process due to the fear of a re‐rupture. In the opinion of the authors, if full AROM can be achieved before the 6th week of rehabilitation, initiating a slow transition into light strengthening of the biceps brachii may be possible.
Level of evidence:
4‐Single Case report
PMCID: PMC3537453  PMID: 23316429
Distal biceps tendon surgical repair; rehabilitation guidelines
3.  Simultaneous bilateral distal biceps tendon ruptures repaired using an endobutton technique: a case report 
The simultaneous rupture of both distal biceps tendons is a rare clinical entity that is difficult to treat and can have poor outcomes. A variety of treatment and rehabilitation options exist and have been reported for single sided and staged bilateral repairs, but none have described an approach for acute bilateral ruptures. Repairing distal biceps tendon ruptures using a single anterior incision and a cortical suspensory button technique has become increasingly popular in recent years. We present a report of our surgical approach using an endobutton technique and rehabilitation algorithm for this unusual injury pattern.
Case presentation
A 43-year-old Caucasian man presented with acute onset bilateral elbow pain while lifting a large sheet of drywall off the ground. He initially felt a ‘pop’ on the right and almost immediately felt another on the left after having to quickly shift the weight. He was unable to continue working and sought medical attention. His pain was predominantly in his bilateral antecubital fossae and he had significant swelling and ecchymoses. His clinical examination demonstrated no palpable tendon, a retracted biceps muscle belly, and clear supination weakness. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed and showed bilateral distal biceps tendon ruptures with retraction on both sides. After discussion with our patient, we decided that both sides would be repaired using a single anterior incision with endobutton fixation, first his right followed by his left six weeks later.
Overall, our patient did very well and had returned to full manual work by our last follow-up at 30 months. Although he was never able to return to competitive recreational hockey and was left with mild lateral antebrachial cutaneous nerve dysesthesias on his right, he felt he was at 85% of his premorbid level of function. We describe what we believe to be, to the best of our knowledge, the first case of simultaneous bilateral distal biceps tendon ruptures successfully treated with a single-incision endobutton technique, which represents a valid option in managing this difficult problem.
PMCID: PMC3766066  PMID: 23972255
4.  Effect of the shoulder position on the biceps brachii emg in different dumbbell curls 
Incline Dumbbell Curl (IDC) and Dumbbell Preacher Curl (DPC) are two variations of the standard Dumbbell Biceps Curl (DBC), generally applied to optimize biceps brachii contribution for elbow flexion by fixing shoulder at a specific angle. The aim of this study is to identify changes in the neuromuscular activity of biceps brachii long head for IDC, DPC and DBC exercises, by taking into account the changes in load moment arm and muscle length elicited by each dumbbell curl protocol. A single cycle (concentric-eccentric) of DBC, IDC and DPC, was applied to 22 subjects using a submaximal load of 40% estimated from an isometric MVC test. The neuromuscular activity of biceps brachii long head was compared by further partitioning each contraction into three phases, according to individual elbow joint range of motion. Although all protocols elicited a considerable level of activation of the biceps brachii muscle (at least 50% of maximum RMS), the contribution of this muscle for elbow flexion/extension varied among exercises. The submaximal elbow flexion (concentric) elicited neuro muscular activity up to 95% of the maximum RMS value during the final phase of IDC and DBC and 80% for DPC at the beginning of the movement. All exercises showed significant less muscle activity for the elbow extension (eccentric). The Incline Dumbbell Curl and the classical Dumbbell Biceps Curl resulted in similar patterns of biceps brachii activation for the whole range of motion, whereas Dumbbell Preacher Curl elicited high muscle activation only for a short range of elbow joint angle.
Key pointsThe Incline Dumbbell Curl and the Dumbbell Biceps Curl resulted in a considerable neuromuscular effort throughout the whole elbow range of motion.The Incline Dumbbell Curl and the Dumbbell Biceps Curl may be preferable for the improvement of biceps brachii force in training programs.
PMCID: PMC3737788  PMID: 24150552
Biceps curl; EMG; biceps brachii.
5.  Rupture of the Distal Biceps Tendon in a Collegiate Football Player: A Case Report 
Journal of Athletic Training  1998;33(1):62-64.
To provide health care personnel with guidelines for the management of a distal biceps tendon rupture.
Traumatic ruptures of the biceps tendon are rare, but serious, and usually involve the long head of the proximal insertion. Ruptures of the distal tendon account for only 3% of all biceps tendon ruptures. A history of tendinitis, overuse, or anabolic steroid abuse may predispose tendons to rupture. Surgical repair, followed by a comprehensive rehabilitation program, is indicated to regain full strength and range of motion in both flexion and supination.
Differential Diagnosis:
Rupture of the distal head of the biceps brachii muscle at the insertion on the radial tuberosity.
After the injury, the athlete continued to compete for the remainder of the collegiate football season. He then underwent surgery to repair the tendon at its insertion. Post- operatively, the athlete was immobilized in a cast and then a brace to prevent any movement of the muscle. Rehabilitation proceeded with isometric exercises and manual resistive exercises of the shoulder and wrist. At 16 weeks, the athlete was cleared for biceps curls and wrist supination. At 6 months, the athlete had regained full use of the muscle.
This is a relatively rare injury, usually occurring at the proximal tendon insertion and in those who are middle aged (30 to 50 years old). Also, the surgical intervention in this case was delayed without detrimental effects to the patient.
This study shows that, while surgical intervention to repair a ruptured distal biceps tendon is necessary, appropriate conservative measures can be taken to allow surgery to be delayed without harm to the patient. The athletic trainer should be aware of how to recognize and treat this injury.
PMCID: PMC1320378  PMID: 16558487
biceps brachii; upper extremity; tendinitis
6.  The Biceps Crease Interval for Diagnosing Complete Distal Biceps Tendon Ruptures 
Complete distal biceps tendon ruptures require prompt surgical management for optimal functional and aesthetic outcome. The need exists for a valid and reliable diagnostic tool to expedite surgical referral. We hypothesized complete distal biceps tendon ruptures result in an objectively measurable anatomic landmark (the distance between the antecubital crease of the elbow and the cusp of distal descent of the biceps muscle, or the biceps crease interval), as a result of proximal retraction of the musculotendinous complex. We established normal biceps crease interval values and biceps crease ratios between dominant and nondominant arms in 80 men with no history of biceps injury (average age, 43 years). The mean (± standard deviation) biceps crease interval for dominant and nondominant arms was 4.8 ± 0.6 cm. The mean biceps crease ratio was 1.0 ± 0.1. We measured the biceps crease interval and biceps crease ratio on 29 consecutive patients presenting with a possible complete distal biceps tendon rupture. Using a diagnostic threshold of a biceps crease interval greater than 6.0 cm or biceps crease ratio greater than 1.2, the biceps crease interval test had a sensitivity of 96% and a diagnostic accuracy of 93% for identifying complete distal biceps tendon ruptures, making it a valid and reliable tool for clinicians to identify cases requiring urgent surgical referral.
Level of Evidence: Level II, diagnostic study. See the Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
PMCID: PMC2492996  PMID: 18551349
7.  Exercise Protocol for the Treatment of Rotator Cuff Impingement Syndrome 
Journal of Athletic Training  2010;45(5):483-485.
Kuhn JE. Exercise in the treatment of rotator cuff impingement: a systematic review and a synthesized evidence-based rehabilitation protocol. J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2009;18(1):138–160.
Clinical Question:
What is the role of exercise in the treatment of rotator cuff impingement syndrome (RCIS), and what evidence-based exercises can be synthesized into a criterion-standard exercise rehabilitation protocol?
Data Sources:
Investigations were identified by PubMed, Ovid, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, American College of Physicians Journal Club, and Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects. The search terms included shoulder, impingement, rotator cuff, rehabilitation, physical therapy, physiotherapy, and exercise. Additional searches were performed with bibliographies of retrieved studies.
Study Selection:
To qualify for inclusion, studies had to be level 1 or level 2 (randomized controlled trials); had to compare rehabilitation interventions, such as exercise or manual therapy, with other treatments or placebo; had to include validated outcome measures of pain, function, or disability; and had to be limited to individuals with diagnosed impingement syndrome. Impingement syndrome was determined by a positive impingement sign per Neer or Hawkins criteria, or both. Articles were excluded if they addressed other shoulder conditions (eg, calcific tendinosis, full-thickness rotator cuff tears, adhesive capsulitis, osteoarthritis), addressed postoperative management, were retrospective studies or case series, or used other outcome measures.
Data Extraction:
An evidence-based journal club of 9 faculty members and fellows reviewed the articles and extracted and tabulated the data. Individual outcomes for pain, range of motion (ROM), strength, and function were organized. Intragroup and between-groups outcomes were assessed for the effectiveness of treatment, and statistical outcomes were recorded when available. Clinical importance was determined when statistical value was P < .05 and the effect size or difference between treatments was 20% or more. Sixa major categories were created to organize the components of the physical therapy programs used in each study: ROM, flexibility and stretching, strengthening techniques, therapist-driven manual therapy, modalities, and schedule. Components from these categories were used to create a synthesized physical therapy program.
Main Results:
The searches identified 80 studies, of which 11 met the inclusion criteria. In 5 studies, the diagnosis of RCIS was confirmed using an impingement test consisting of lidocaine injected into the subacromial space and elimination of pain with the impingement sign. Randomization methods were used in 6 studies, and blinded, independent examiners were involved in follow-up data collection in only 3 studies. Validated outcome measures were used in all studies. Follow-up was very good in 10 studies and was less than 90% in only 1 study. The specific exercise programs varied among studies. However, general treatment principles were identified among the different studies and included frequency, ROM, stretching or flexibility, strengthening, manual therapy (joint and/or soft tissue mobilizations), modalities, and others.
The findings indicated that exercise improves outcomes of pain, strength, ROM impairments, and function in patients with impingement syndrome. In 10 studies, investigators reported improvements in pain with supervised exercise, home exercise, exercise associated with manual therapy, and exercise after subacromial decompression. Of the 6 studies in which researchers compared pre-exercise pain with postexercise pain, 5 demonstrated that exercise produced statistically significant and clinically important reductions in pain. Two studies demonstrated improvements in pain when comparing exercise and control groups. In 1 study, investigators evaluated bracing without exercise and found no difference in pain between the brace and exercise groups. Investigators evaluated exercise combined with manual therapy in 3 studies and demonstrated improvement in pain relief in each study and improvement in strength in 1 study. In most studies, exercise also was shown to improve function. The improvement in function was statistically significant in 4 studies and clinically meaningful in 2 of these studies. In 2 studies, researchers compared supervised exercise with a home exercise program and found that function improved in both groups but was not different between groups. This finding might have resulted from a type II statistical error. In 4 studies, researchers did not find differences between acromioplasty with exercise and exercise alone for pain alone or for outcomes of pain and function.
Findings indicated that exercise is beneficial for reducing pain and improving function in individuals with RCIS. The effects of exercise might be augmented with implementation of manual therapy. In addition, supervised exercise might not be more effective than a home exercise program. Many articles had methodologic concerns and provided limited descriptions of specific exercises, which made comparing types of exercise among studies difficult. Based on the results, Kuhn generated a physical therapy protocol using evidence-based exercise that could be used by clinicians treating individuals with impingement syndrome. This evidence-based protocol can serve as the criterion standard to reduce variables in future cohort and comparative studies to help find better treatments for patients with this disorder.
PMCID: PMC2938321  PMID: 20831395
function; subacromial impingement; rehabilitation
8.  Superior results with eccentric compared to concentric quadriceps training in patients with jumper's knee: a prospective randomised study 
British Journal of Sports Medicine  2005;39(11):847-850.
Background: A recent study reported promising clinical results using eccentric quadriceps training on a decline board to treat jumper's knee (patellar tendinosis).
Methods: In this prospective study, athletes (mean age 25 years) with jumper's knee were randomised to treatment with either painful eccentric or painful concentric quadriceps training on a decline board. Fifteen exercises were repeated three times, twice daily, 7 days/week, for 12 weeks. All patients ceased sporting activities for the first 6 weeks. Age, height, weight, and duration of symptoms were similar between groups. Visual analogue scales (VAS; patient estimation of pain during exercise) and Victorian Institute of Sport Assessment (VISA) scores, before and after treatment, and patient satisfaction, were used for evaluation.
Results: In the eccentric group, for 9/10 tendons patients were satisfied with treatment, VAS decreased from 73 to 23 (p<0.005), and VISA score increased from 41 to 83 (p<0.005). In the concentric group, for 9/9 tendons patients were not satisfied, and there were no significant differences in VAS (from 74 to 68, p<0.34) and VISA score (from 41 to 37, p<0.34). At follow up (mean 32.6 months), patients in the eccentric group were still satisfied and sports active, but all patients in the concentric group had been treated surgically or by sclerosing injections.
Conclusions: In conclusion, eccentric, but not concentric, quadriceps training on a decline board, seems to reduce pain in jumper's knee. The study aimed to include 20 patients in each group, but was stopped at the half time control because of poor results achieved in the concentric group.
PMCID: PMC1725058  PMID: 16244196
9.  Nonoperative Treatment of Distal Biceps Brachii Musculotendinous Partial Rupture: A Report of Two Cases 
Case Reports in Orthopedics  2013;2013:970512.
Musculotendinous ruptures of the distal biceps brachii are extremely rare injuries whose clinical presentation is similar to distal biceps avulsion. We describe two cases of patients who suffered a distal biceps brachii musculotendinous partial rupture. The first patient was playing soccer as goalkeeper and experienced sudden pain while throwing the ball overhead with his left arm. The second patient experienced sudden pain while weightlifting with his right arm. The mechanism of injury was the same in the two cases, as both involved glenohumeral elevation with elbow extension and forearm supination. Neither of these two patients underwent surgical repair or rehabilitation, and both had perfect scores of 100 on the Mayo Clinic Performance Index for the Elbow at one-year followup.
PMCID: PMC3730206  PMID: 23956903
10.  Dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging in chronic Achilles tendinosis 
BMC Medical Imaging  2013;13:39.
Chronic Achilles tendinosis is a common problem. When evaluating and comparing different therapies there is a need for reliable imaging methods. Our aim was to evaluate if chronic Achilles tendinosis affects the dynamic contrast-enhancement in the tendon and its surroundings and if short-term eccentric calf-muscle training normalizes the dynamic contrast-enhancement.
20 patients with chronic Achilles tendinopathy were included. Median duration of symptoms was 31 months (range 6 to 120 months). Both Achilles tendons were examined with dynamic contrast enhanced MRI before and after a 12- week exercise programme of eccentric calf-muscle training. The dynamic MRI was evaluated in tendon, vessel and in fat ventrally of tendon. Area under the curve (AUC), time to peak of signal, signal increase per second (SI/s) and increase in signal between start and peak as a percentage (SI%) was calculated. Pain and performance were evaluated using a questionnaire.
In the fat ventrally of the tendon, dynamic contrast enhancement was significantly higher in the symptomatic leg compared to the contralateral non-symptomatic leg before but not after treatment. Despite decreased pain and improved performance there was no significant change of dynamic contrast enhancement in symptomatic tendons after treatment.
In Achilles tendinosis there is an increased contrast enhancement in the fat ventrally of the tendon. The lack of correlation with symptoms and the lack of significant changes in tendon contrast enhancement parameters do however indicate that dynamic enhanced MRI is currently not a useful method to evaluate chronic Achilles tendinosis.
PMCID: PMC4222571  PMID: 24261480
11.  Validation of Greyscale-Based Quantitative Ultrasound in Manual Wheelchair Users 
The primary aim of this study is to establish the validity of greyscale-based quantitative ultrasound (QUS) measures of the biceps and supraspinatus tendons.
Nine QUS measures of the biceps and supraspinatus tendons were computed from ultrasound images collected from sixty-seven manual wheelchair users. Shoulder pathology was measured using questionnaires, physical examination maneuvers, and a clinical ultrasound grading scale.
Increased age, duration of wheelchair use, and body mass correlated with a darker, more homogenous tendon appearance. Subjects with pain during physical examination tests for biceps tenderness and acromioclavicular joint tenderness exhibited significantly different supraspinatus QUS values. Even when controlling for tendon depth, QUS measures of the biceps tendon differed significantly between subjects with healthy tendons, mild tendinosis, and severe tendinosis. Clinical grading of supraspinatus tendon health was correlated with QUS measures of the supraspinatus tendon.
Quantitative ultrasound is valid method to quantify tendinopathy and may allow for early detection of tendinosis. Manual wheelchair users are at a high risk for developing shoulder tendon pathology and may benefit from quantitative ultrasound-based research that focuses on identifying interventions designed to reduce this risk.
PMCID: PMC2859462  PMID: 20407304
Ultrasound; Greyscale; Tendinopathy; Shoulder
12.  Distal biceps tendon rupture reconstruction using muscle-splitting double-incision approach 
AIM: To evaluate the clinical and functional results after repair of distal biceps tendon tears, following the Morrey’s modified double-incision approach.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 47 patients with distal rupture of biceps brachii treated between 2003 and 2012 in our Orthopedic Department with muscle-splitting double-incision technique. Outcome measures included the Mayo elbow performance, the DASH questionnaire, patient’s satisfaction, elbow and forearm motion, grip strength and complications occurrence.
RESULTS: At an average 18 mo follow-up (range, 7 mo-10 years) the average Mayo elbow performance and DASH score were respectively 97.2 and 4.8. The elbow flexion range was 94%, extension was -2°, supination was 93% and pronation 96% compared with the uninjured limb. The mean grip strength, expressed as percentage of respective contralateral limb, was 83%. The average patient satisfaction rating on a Likert scale (from 0 to 10) was 9.4. The following complications were observed: 3 cases of heterotopic ossification (6.4%), one (2.1%) re-rupture of the tendon at the site of reattachment and 2 cases (4.3%) of posterior interosseous nerve palsy. No complication required further surgical treatment.
CONCLUSION: This technique allows an anatomic reattachment of distal biceps tendon at the radial tuberosity providing full functional recovery with low complication rate.
PMCID: PMC4133426  PMID: 25133147
Distal biceps tendon; Rupture; Double incision; Complications; Clinical outcome; Trans-osseous tunnels; Morrey
13.  Eccentric training in patients with chronic Achilles tendinosis: normalised tendon structure and decreased thickness at follow up 
Objective: To prospectively investigate tendon thickness and tendon structure by ultrasonography in patients treated with eccentric calf muscle training for painful chronic Achilles tendinosis located at the 2–6 cm level in the tendon.
Methods: The patients were examined with grey scale ultrasonography before and 3.8 years (mean) after the 12 week eccentric training regimen. At follow up, a questionnaire assessed present activity level and satisfaction with treatment.
Results: Twenty six tendons in twenty five patients (19 men and six women) with a mean age of 50 years were followed for a mean of 3.8 years (range 1.6–7.75). All patients had a long duration of painful symptoms (mean 17.1 months) from chronic Achilles tendinosis before treatment. At follow up, 22 of 25 patients were satisfied with treatment and active in Achilles tendon loading activities at the desired level. Ultrasonography showed that tendon thickness (at the widest part) had decreased significantly (p<0.005) after treatment (7.6 (2.3) v 8.8 (3) mm; mean (SD)). In untreated normal tendons, there was no significant difference in thickness after treatment (5.3 (1.3) mm before and 5.9 (0.8) mm after). All tendons with tendinosis had structural abnormalities (hypoechoic areas and irregular structure) before the start of treatment. After treatment, the structure was normal in 19 of the 26 tendons. Six of the seven patients with remaining structural abnormalities experienced pain in the tendon during loading.
Conclusions: Ultrasonographic follow up of patients with mid-portion painful chronic Achilles tendinosis treated with eccentric calf muscle training showed a localised decrease in tendon thickness and a normalised tendon structure in most patients. Remaining structural tendon abnormalities seemed to be associated with residual pain in the tendon.
PMCID: PMC1724744  PMID: 14751936
14.  Tendinopathy in Sport 
Sports Health  2012;4(3):193-201.
Tendinopathy is increasing in prevalence and accounts for a substantial part of all sports injuries and occupational disorders. Despite the magnitude of the disorder, high-quality scientific data on etiology and available treatments have been limited.
Evidence Acquisition:
The authors conducted a MEDLINE search on tendinopathy, or “tendonitis” or “tendinosis” or “epicondylitis” or “jumpers knee” from 1980 to 2011. The emphasis was placed on updates on epidemiology, etiology, and recent patient-oriented Level 1 literature.
Repetitive exposure in combination with recently discovered intrinsic factors, such as genetic variants of matrix proteins, and metabolic disorders is a risk factor for the development of tendinopathy. Recent findings demonstrate that tendinosis is characterized by a fibrotic, failed healing response associated with pathological vessel and sensory nerve ingrowth. This aberrant sensory nerve sprouting may partly explain increased pain signaling and partly, by release of neuronal mediators, contribute to the fibrotic alterations observed in tendinopathy. The initial nonoperative treatment should involve eccentric exercise, which should be the cornerstone (basis) of treatment of tendinopathy. Eccentric training combined with extracorporeal shockwave treatment has in some reports shown higher success rates compared to any therapies alone. Injection therapies (cortisone, sclerosing agents, blood products including platelet-rich plasma) may have short-term effects but have no proven long-term treatment effects or meta-analyses to support them. For epicondylitis, cortisone injections have demonstrated poorer long-time results than conservative physiotherapy. Today surgery is less indicated because of successful conservative therapies. New minioperative procedures that, via the endoscope, remove pathologic tissue or abnormal neoinnervation demonstrate promising results but need confirmation by Level 1 studies.
Novel targeted therapies are emerging, but multicenter trials are needed to confirm the results of exercise and mini-invasive treatments.
PMCID: PMC3435934  PMID: 23016086
tendon; pain; tendinopathy; tendinosis
15.  Repair of acute and chronic distal biceps tendon ruptures using the EndoButton 
Hand (New York, N.Y.)  2010;6(1):39-46.
There are many ways to repair distal biceps tendon ruptures with no outcome studies demonstrating superiority of a specific technique. There are few studies reporting on the repair of acute and chronic distal biceps tendon ruptures using the EndoButton via an anterior single-incision approach. We report on 27 patients who underwent distal biceps tendon repair with an EndoButton. The average age was 50.1 years (range, 36–78). There were 17 acute repairs (within 4 weeks of injury), nine chronic repairs (greater than 4 weeks), and one revision of a previous acute repair. All chronic repairs were repaired without the need for graft augmentation. Patients were assessed postoperatively using the ASES elbow outcome instrument and isokinetic flexion and supination strength and endurance testing. Eight control subjects were also tested for comparison. At an average follow-up of 30.9 months, 26 of 27 patients returned to their previous employment and activity level. The average ASES elbow score was 98.2 (range, 81–100). Compared with the contralateral extremity, there was no loss of motion. Average flexion strength recovery was 101% and mean supination strength recovery was 99%. There was no significant difference in function or strength with repair of acute versus chronic ruptures. Using the EndoButton technique, acute and chronic distal biceps tendon ruptures can be repaired safely with excellent clinical results.
PMCID: PMC3041875  PMID: 22379436
Distal biceps tendon ruptures; Acute; Chronic; Single incision
16.  The Effect of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on the Inflammatory Response to eccentric strength exercise 
Omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3) have anti-inflammatory properties. However, it is not known if omega-3 supplementation attenuates exercise-induced inflammation. We tested the hypothesis that omega-3 supplementation reduces inflammation that is induced by eccentric arm curl exercise. Healthy adult men and women (n=11; 35 ± 10 y) performed eccentric biceps curls on two occasions, once after 14d of dietary omega-3 restriction (control trial) and again after 7d of 3,000 mg/d omega-3 supplementation (omega-3 trial). Before and 48 h after eccentric exercise, signs of inflammation was assessed by measuring soreness ratings, swelling (arm circumference and arm volume), and temperature (infrared skin sensor). Arm soreness increased (p < 0.0001) in response to eccentric exercise; the magnitude of increase in soreness was 15% less in the omega-3 trial (p = 0.004). Arm circumference increased after eccentric exercise in the control trial (p = 0.01) but not in the omega-3 trial (p = 0.15). However, there was no difference between trials (p = 0.45). Arm volume and skin temperature did not change in response to eccentric exercise in either trial. These findings suggest that omega-3 supplementation decreases soreness, as a marker of inflammation, after eccentric exercise. Based on these findings, omega-3 supplementation could provide benefits by minimizing post-exercise soreness and thereby facilitate exercise training in individuals ranging from athletes undergoing heavy conditioning to sedentary subjects or patients who are starting exercise programs or medical treatments such as physical therapy or cardiac rehabilitation.
Key pointsDietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to reduce inflammation in numerous inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and Chrohn’s disease.Although strenuous exercise is known to cause acute increases in inflammation, it is not clear if omega-3 fatty acid supplementation attenuates this adverse response to exercise.Our research demonstrates that 3000 mg·d-1 omega-3 fatty acid supplementation minimizes the severe, delayed-onset muscle soreness that results from strenuous eccentric strength exercise.This information, along with a plethora of information showing that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation has other health benefits, demonstrates that a readily available over the counter nutritional supplement (i.e. omega-3 fatty acids) reduces delayed-onset soreness caused by strenuous strength exercise.This information has obvious relevance to athletic populations but also to other groups such as physical therapy patients and newly admitted cardiac rehabilitation patients, as muscle soreness, if left unchecked, can slow the progress in adapting to a new exercise program.Furthermore, as inflammation is known to be involved in the pathogenesis if numerous diseases, including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, it is likely prudent for individuals to use inflammation-attenuating interventions, such as omega-3 supplementation, to keep inflammatory responses to physical activity at a minimum.
PMCID: PMC3737804  PMID: 24150614
Fish oil; muscle soreness; eicosapentaenoic acid; docosahexaenoic acid
17.  A pilot study of the eccentric decline squat in the management of painful chronic patellar tendinopathy 
Objectives: This non-randomised pilot study investigated the effect of eccentric quadriceps training on 17 patients (22 tendons) with painful chronic patellar tendinopathy.
Methods: Two different eccentric exercise regimens were used by subjects with a long duration of pain with activity (more than six months). (a) Nine consecutive patients (10 tendons; eight men, one woman; mean age 22 years) performed eccentric exercise with the ankle joint in a standard (foot flat) position. (b) Eight patients (12 tendons; five men, three women; mean age 28 years) performed eccentric training standing on a 25° decline board, designed to increase load on the knee extensor mechanism. The eccentric training was performed twice daily, with three sets of 15 repetitions, for 12 weeks. Primary outcome measures were (a) 100 mm visual analogue scale (VAS), where the subject recorded the amount of pain during activity, and (b) return to previous activity. Follow up was at 12 weeks, with a further limited follow up at 15 months.
Results: Good clinical results were obtained in the group who trained on the decline board, with six patients (nine tendons) returning to sport and showing a significantly reduced amount of pain over the 12 week period. Mean VAS scores fell from 74.2 to 28.5 (p = 0.004). At 15 months, four patients (five tendons) reported satisfactory results (mean VAS 26.2). In the standard squat group the results were poor, with only one athlete returning to previous activity. Mean VAS scores in this group were 79.0 at baseline and 72.3 at 12 weeks (p = 0.144).
Conclusion: In a small group of patients with patellar tendinopathy, eccentric squats on a decline board produced encouraging results in terms of pain reduction and return to function in the short term. Eccentric exercise using standard single leg squats in a similar sized group appeared to be a less effective form of rehabilitation in reducing pain and returning subjects to previous levels of activity.
PMCID: PMC1724885  PMID: 15273169
18.  Tendinosis-like Histologic and Molecular Changes of the Achilles Tendon to Repetitive Stress: A Pilot Study in Rats 
Tendinopathy (pain and tendon degeneration) is associated with repetitive use and mechanical overload. However, the etiology of tendinopathy remains unclear. Clarification of histologic and molecular changes of tendon to repetitive stress could provide better understanding of Achilles tendon disorders related to repetitive stress.
We asked whether repetitive stress simulating overuse of the Achilles tendon induced (1) histologic changes in rats similar to tendinosis (increased cellularity of fibrocytes, increased disorganization of collagen fiber, and increased roundness of the nucleus of the fibrocyte), (2) increased collagen Type III occurrence, and (3) increased inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression.
We used an exercise protocol simulating repetitive, jerky, eccentric contraction of the triceps surae in 15 rats. We conducted the exercise for 2 hours per day, three times per week using the right rear legs only and the left legs as internal controls. We harvested Achilles tendons after either 2, 4, or 6 weeks of exercise, and evaluated changes in tendon thickness, fibrocyte count, collagen fiber arrangement, collagen fiber type, and occurrence of iNOS.
Exercised Achilles tendons showed increased cellularity of fibrocytes at 4 and 6 weeks of exercise, and disorganized collagen fiber arrangement at 6 weeks of exercise. There was a trend for Type III collagen occurrence being greater in experimental groups. Expression of iNOS increased after 2 and 4 weeks of exercise when compared with that of the controls, but decreased after 6 weeks.
These observations suggest repetitive, synchronized, passive, and jerky exercise induced by electrical stimulation can lead to the tendinosis-like changes in the Achilles tendons in rats with imbalance between synthesis and degeneration after 4 weeks of exercise.
Clinical Relevance
This newly designed exercise protocol may be used to design an animal model of Achilles tendon overuse. With this model, therapeutic interventions of tendinopathy could be analyzed by investigation of tendon biology and response in terms of histologic and molecular changes.
PMCID: PMC3183207  PMID: 21800208
Hamstring strain injuries are among the most common injuries seen in sports. Management is made difficult by the high recurrence rates. Typical time to return to sport varies but can be prolonged with recurrence. Eccentric strength deficits remain post‐injury, contributing to reinjury. Eccentric training has shown to be an effective method at prevention of hamstring injury in multiple systematic reviews and prospective RCTs but limited prospective rehabilitation literature. Functional dry needling is a technique that has been reported to be beneficial in the management of pain and dysfunction after muscle strains, but there is limited published literature on its effects on rehabilitation or recurrence of injury.
The purpose of this case report is to present the management and outcomes of a patient with hamstring strain, treated with functional dry needling and eccentric exercise.
Case Description:
The subject was an 18‐year‐old collegiate pole‐vaulter who presented to physical therapy with an acute hamstring strain and history of multiple strains on uninvolved extremity. He was treated in Physical Therapy three times per week for 3 weeks with progressive eccentric training and 3 sessions of functional dry needling.
By day 12, his eccentric strength on the involved extremity was greater than the uninvolved extremity and he reported clinically meaningful improvement in outcome scores. By Day 20, he was able to return to full sports participation without pain or lingering strength deficits.
The patient in this case report was able to return to sport within 20 days and without recurrence. He demonstrated significant decreases in pain and dysfunction with dry needling. He had greater strength on the injured extremity compared to contra‐lateral previously injured extremity.
This case illustrates the use of functional dry needling and eccentric exercise leading to a favorable outcome in a patient with hamstring strain.
Level of Evidence:
Level 4
PMCID: PMC3679638  PMID: 23772348
Functional Dry Needling; Hamstring; Eccentric Exercise
20.  Rupture of the Distal Biceps Tendon Combined with a Supinator Muscle Tear in a 51-Year-Old Woman: A Case Report 
Case Reports in Radiology  2011;2011:515912.
Distal biceps tendon rupture is a relatively uncommon occurrence in the general female population, and to our knowledge, has not been reported in association with a supinator muscle tear. We report a case of 51-year-old woman who experienced sharp pain in her forearm and elbow after lifting a heavy object. History and physical examination raised suspicion for a distal biceps tendon rupture. MRI imaging determined a combined distal biceps tendon tear with a supinator muscle tear with subsequent confirmation at surgery. Surgical repair was performed for the distal biceps tendon only through a single incision approach using the Endobutton technique.
PMCID: PMC3350064  PMID: 22606548
21.  Arthroscopic Tenodesis Through Positioning Portals to Treat Proximal Lesions of the Biceps Tendon 
Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics  2014;70(3):1499-1506.
Arthroscopic biceps tenodesis is a good choice for treating proximal lesions of the biceps tendon. However, there are few descriptions of the surgical approach. We introduce a technique for proximal biceps tenodesis using positioning portals and placing suture anchors. Our patients had a minimum of 12 months of follow-up. Between January 2010 and June 2012, a total of 49 patients (21 men, 28 women) underwent arthroscopic biceps tenodesis. The pathology was mainly associated with proximal lesions of the biceps tendon, with the diagnosis confirmed in all patients. Patients were evaluated preoperatively and then up to and including the final follow-up. Their pain and conditions were assessed using the Constant, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES), and University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) scores for pain; range of active forward flexion; and active range of motion. All data were analyzed statistically. All patients were operated on successfully. They achieved good healing during the follow-up (mean 14 months; range 12–34 months). Before surgery the ASES, Constant, and UCLA scores were 17.0, 39.4, and 15.4, respectively. After surgery they were 33.6, 89.1, and 31.2, respectively. The scores had significantly improved: ASES scores from 17.0 to 33.6 (P < 0.05); Constant scores from 39.4 to 89.1 (P < 0.05); UCLA scores from 15.4 to 31.2 (P < 0.05). Arthroscopic tenodesis through positioning portals to treat proximal lesions of the biceps tendon produces satisfactory clinical outcomes. This technique is convenient and safe.
Level of evidence
Level IV, Case Series, Treatment Study.
PMCID: PMC4224744  PMID: 25239022
Biceps tenodesis; Portal; Suture anchors; Landmark; Arthroscopy
Despite considerable medical advances, arthroscopy remains the only definitive means of Superior Labrum Anterior-Posterior (SLAP) lesion diagnosis. Natural shoulder anatomic variants limit the reliability of radiographic findings and clinical evaluations are not consistent. Accurate clinical diagnostic techniques would be advantageous due to the invasiveness, patient risk, and financial cost associated with arthroscopy.
The purpose was to examine the behavior of the joint stabilizing muscles in provocative tests for SLAP lesions. Electromyography was used to characterize the muscle behavior, with particular interest in the long head biceps brachii (LHBB), as activation of the long head and subsequent tension in the biceps tendon should, based on related research, elicit labral symptoms in SLAP lesion patients.
Study Design
Controlled Laboratory Study
Volunteers (N=21) without a history of shoulder pathology were recruited. The tests analyzed were Active Compression, Speed's, Pronated Load, Biceps I, Biceps II, Resisted Supination External Rotation, and Yergason's. Tests were performed with a dynamometer to improve reproducibility. Muscle activity was recorded for the long and short heads of the biceps brachii, anterior deltoid, pectoralis major, latissimus dorsi, infraspinatus, and supraspinatus. Muscle behavior for each test was characterized by peak activation and proportion of muscle activity.
Speed's, Active Compression Palm-Up, Bicep I and Bicep II, produced higher long head activations. Resisted Supination External Rotation, Bicep I, Bicep II, and Yergason's, produced a higher LHBB proportion.
Bicep I, and Bicep II elicited promising long head behavior (high activation and selectivity). Speed's and Active Compression Palm-Up elicited higher activation of the LHBB , and Resisted Supination and Yergason's elicited selective LHBB activity. These top performing tests utilize a unique range of test variables that may prove valuable for optimal SLAP test design and performance.
Clinical Relevance
This study examines several provocative tests that are frequently used in the clinical setting as a means of evaluating a potential SLAP lesion.
[Review Only] What is known about the subject
Detecting SLAP lesions in the clinical setting has been frequently examined in the relevant literature. In general, most studies report the accuracy of a SLAP lesion test after a group of patients with suspected SLAP lesions are diagnosed following arthroscopy, and very few of these studies have examined the biomechanical implications of these tests.
[Review Only] What this study adds to existing knowledge
To the best of the authors' knowledge this is the first study to examine these seven provocative test in parallel and in subjects with no history of shoulder pathology. Again, to the best of the authors' knowledge this study is also the first to examine both activation and selectivity of the long head of the biceps and six other joint stabilizing muscles. In this study, subjects performed each test with a Biodex System to improve uniformity between subject positions and force discrepancies.
PMCID: PMC3261658  PMID: 21876031
SLAP; Superior Labrum Anterior Posterior Lesion; provocative test; long head biceps brachii; diagnoses; electromyography
23.  Bilateral asymmetric supernumerary heads of biceps brachii 
Anatomy & Cell Biology  2011;44(3):238-240.
Anatomical variations of the biceps brachii have been described by various authors, but the occurrence of bilateral asymmetric supernumerary heads is rare and has not been reported. We found three accessory heads of the biceps brachii muscle on right arm and an anomalous third head of biceps brachii on left arm. The third, fourth, and fifth heads of right arm originated from the body of humerus at the insertion site of coracobrachialis and inserted into the distal part of biceps brachii short head in order. The third head of left arm originated from humerus at the insertion site of coracobrachialis and combined with the distal part of biceps brachii and continued to the proximal part of common biceps tendon. Understanding the existence of bilateral asymmetric supernumerary heads of biceps brachii may influence preoperative diagnosis and surgery on the upper limbs.
PMCID: PMC3195828  PMID: 22025976
Biceps brachii; Asymmetry; Supernumerary heads; Variation
24.  Late repair of simultaneous bilateral distal biceps brachii tendon avulsion with fascia lata graft 
A 50 year old rock climber sustained a bilateral rupture of the distal biceps brachii tendons. He retained some flexion power in both arms but minimal supination, being weaker on the non-dominant right side. As the patient presented late, with retraction and shortening of the biceps muscle bellies, reconstruction was carried out using fascia lata grafts on both sides. Because of residual weakness on the left (dominant) side, three further surgical procedures had to be carried out to correct for elongation of the graft. A functionally satisfactory outcome, comparable with that on the right side, was eventually obtained. In summary, bilateral fascia lata grafts to bridge the gap between the retracted biceps bellies and the radial tuberosities were successful in restoring function and flexion power to the elbow. Despite being the stronger side, the dominant arm did not respond as well to the initial surgery. This may be due to overuse of this arm after the operation. 

PMCID: PMC1756182  PMID: 10450488
25.  Technique and results after distal braquial biceps tendon reparation, through two anterior mini-incisions 
Acta Ortopedica Brasileira  2013;21(2):76-79.
Evaluation of postoperative results of repair of distal biceps brachii ruptures through a two anterior mini-incisions.
Nine patients with clinical and imaging (MRI) diagnosis of total lesion of the biceps brachii at its insertion were operated with a surgical technique with two mini-incisions between 2008 and 2011. The patients were evaluated after three months of evolution and all of them recovered the fully flexion-extension arch.
Two patients (22.2%) presented a limitation of 20 degrees of supination. One patient (11.1%) had radial nerve palsy, but was totally recovered after five months. In one patient (11.1%) the muscle remained retracted, but the insertion was recovered. In three patients (33.3%) adhesion was observed on the proximal scar. There was no clinical or radiographic evidence of radioulnar synostosis after six months of evolution. All patients reported satisfaction with the treatment.
We conclude that the presented method shows good results as well as other techniques, with less risk of adhesion on the flexor fold of the elbow. Level of Evidence IV, Case Series.
PMCID: PMC3861966  PMID: 24453647
Tendon injuries; Tendons/surgery; Surgical procedures, operative/methods; Evaluation studies

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