Authors: Scott F.M. Duncan, MD, MPH*; John W. Sperling, MD, MS; Scott P. Steinmann, MD
Title: Infection after Distal Biceps Repair
Addresses: Mayo Clinic Hospital, 5777 E. Mayo Blvd, Phoenix, AZ 85054
Purpose: There is no information regarding treatment of infected distal biceps repairs. The purpose of this study was to report on the treatment of infected distal biceps tendon repairs.
Methods: A review of biceps repairs done since January 1, 2000 through January 1, 2005 revealed 3 cases of distal biceps repairs that were treated for infection. These three cases were examined for organism(s) responsible and form(s) of treatment.
Results: During this time period, three patients sustained infections of their distal biceps tendon repairs.Two presented acutely (less than 4 weeks out from surgery) with frank purulence draining from the incision area. The third case presented 4 months out from tendon repair. In both of the acute cases the infection was cured without needing to remove any of the stitches or hardware. In the chronic cases the anchoring material was removed because it was found to no longer be holding the biceps tendon to the radial tuberosity.
Discussion: The data from this case series demonstrate that acute infections can be treated with antibiotics and debridement without taking down the tendon repair. However, chronic infections may require removal of all foreign material prior to being repaired again.