March 13, 2019
1 min read

Rotator cuff repair with biceps tenodesis did not impact speed of recovery after surgery

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LAS VEGAS — Outcomes and the speed of recovery were similar between patients who underwent rotator cuff repair with bicep tenodesis and patients who underwent only rotator cuff repair, according to a presentation at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting.

“Patients who required rotator cuff repair with simultaneous biceps tenodesis have lower baseline [American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons] ASES functional scores and earlier postoperative plateaus in pain relief and motion improvement following surgery,” Jennifer Kurowicki, MD, said during her presentation. “Nonetheless, speed of recovery was not influenced by the need to perform a biceps tenodesis.”

Kurowicki and colleagues identified 535 patients who underwent primary arthroscopic rotator cuff repair for full-thickness rotator cuff tears. There were 165 patients assigned to simultaneous rotator cuff repair with biceps tenodesis and 370 patients were treated with only rotator cuff repair. Investigators measured motion and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) preoperatively and at 3 months, 6 months and 1 year. Patient-reported outcomes included the VAS for pain and function, shoulder function from the simple shoulder test (SST), ASES and single assessment numeric evaluation (SANE). At each time interval, outcomes and speed of recovery for PROMs and motion were compared and plateaus in maximal improvement were determined.

Results showed patients who underwent simultaneous biceps tenodesis had a significantly lower baseline ASES functional scores than patients who had only rotator cuff repair. There were no significant differences between the groups for SST, SANE and VAS function and pain scores, forward elevation and external rotation. The plateau in maximal improvement for VAS pain and motion occurred at 6 months for patients who underwent biceps tenodesis and occurred at 12 months for those who only underwent rotator cuff repair. At 12 months, other PROMs achieved a plateau in maximal improvement in both treatment groups.

Biceps tenodesis did not impact the speed of recovery. Patients who underwent biceps tenodesis at 3 months saw a 79% improvement in pain and a 42% to 49% improvement in function. There was a 73% improvement in pain and a 36% to 57% functional improvement at 3 months in patients who underwent only rotator cuff repair. – by Monica Jaramillo



Levy JC, et al. Abstract 284. Presented at: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Annual Meeting; March 12-16, 2019; Las Vegas.


Disclosure: Kurowicki reports no relevant financial disclosures.