Comparison of Outcomes 1 Year After Rotator Cuff Repair With and Without Concomitant Biceps Surgery

Arthroscopy. 2017 Nov;33(11):1928-1936. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2017.05.009. Epub 2017 Aug 16.


Purpose: To compare the outcomes of patients who undergo a long head of the biceps (LHB) procedure (tenotomy or tenodesis) concomitant with rotator cuff repair (RCR) to those of patients who undergo isolated RCR.

Methods: Prospectively collected data were retrospectively reviewed on 80 patients, >18 years old, who underwent repair of a full-thickness rotator cuff tear and with 1-year patient-reported outcome scores collected June 2012 to March 2015. The exclusion criteria were concomitant procedures other than LHB tenotomy, tenodesis, or subacromial decompression; prior shoulder surgery; or other shoulder pathology. The 3 patient groups are as follows: RCR + tenotomy, RCR + tenodesis, and isolated RCR. The primary outcome measures were American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) score, Western Ontario Rotator Cuff (WORC) index, and visual analog scale (VAS) for pain. A t-test measured the mean improvement in LHB patients compared with isolated RCR patients and compared the LHB tenotomy and tenodesis groups. Stepwise linear progression used LHB tenotomy or tenodesis as the primary predictor.

Results: The biceps procedure group had more female patients (22 vs 7, P = .01); otherwise there were no significant baseline differences. The LHB procedure group had significantly worse baseline ASES scores (mean, 48.9 vs 58.7; P = .032). All RCR patients showed significant improvement in all 3 outcome measures. Patients who had either LHB tenotomy or tenodesis (n = 45) demonstrated significantly greater mean improvement in ASES (mean, 42.7 vs 23.8; P = .002), VAS (mean, 49.2 vs 35.7; P = .020), and WORC scores (mean, 928 vs 743; P = .029) at 1-year follow-up compared with patients who had isolated RCR. ASES scores at 1 year were significantly better in the biceps group (91.6 vs 82.5; P = .023). Linear regression found a biceps procedure to be predictive of a significantly greater improvement in ASES score (P = .01). Analysis of variance revealed that both the LHB tenotomy (P = .04) and tenodesis (P = .01) groups demonstrated more favorable improvement in ASES when compared with RCR alone.

Conclusions: Patients who underwent a concomitant biceps procedure when indicated at the time of RCR demonstrated inferior baseline patient-reported outcome measures and greater improvement after 1 year, as well as more favorable ASES scores at 1 year compared with isolated RCR patients.

Level of evidence: Level III, retrospective comparative study.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthroplasty
  • Arthroscopy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle, Skeletal / surgery*
  • Patient Reported Outcome Measures
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rotator Cuff / surgery*
  • Rotator Cuff Injuries / surgery*
  • Tendon Injuries / surgery*
  • Tenodesis / methods
  • Tenotomy / methods
  • Visual Analog Scale