The anatomy of the short head of biceps - not a tendon

Int J Shoulder Surg. 2009 Oct;3(4):75-9. doi: 10.4103/0973-6042.63209.


Background: The short head of biceps brachii has been the subject of little investigation when compared to the long head or distal biceps tendons. The aim of this study was to dissect and describe the origin and proximal portion of the short head of biceps brachii.

Materials and methods: Three left and two right (n = 5) fresh-frozen human cadaver shoulders were dissected and the proximal short head was measured and photographed.

Results: The origin of the short head of biceps consisted of muscle fibres attaching directly to the tip of the coracoid process, with a thin, tendinous aponeurosis covering its anterior surface, rather than a true tendon as previously described.

Conclusion: The short head of biceps does not attach to the coracoid process via a true tendon. These findings have implications for procedures that utilise the short head of biceps.

Level of evidence: Basic science study.

Keywords: Acromioclavicular; biceps; dissection; proximal tendon; short head.