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Clin Shoulder Elbow > Volume 19(1); 2016 > Article
Clinics in Shoulder and Elbow 2016;19(1):48-50.
DOI:    Published online March 31, 2016.
Increased Biceps Translation: A Clinical Sign of Complete Distal Biceps Tendon Rupture
Karan Malhotra, Abdul Waheed
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Basildon University Hospital, Basildon, UK.
Received: 22 July 2015   • Revised: 22 October 2015   • Accepted: 23 November 2015
Various tests to help in the clinical diagnosis of distal biceps tendon ruptures have been described. In our experience these tests are painful in the acute setting. We suggest a simple alternative test wherein the biceps muscle belly is held by the examiner and translated medially and laterally. This is done with the forearm flexed to 90 degrees. It is first performed with the biceps relaxed and subsequently performed with the forearm flexed against resistance. In the relaxed forearm the biceps easily translates over 50% of its width. When placed under tension (by flexing against resistance) this translation is significantly reduced. In cases of complete distal biceps tendon rupture, the biceps still translates, even under resisted flexion of the forearm. This simple test is less painful than other described tests, is easy to perform, and aids in clinical diagnosis of distal biceps tendon ruptures.
Key Words: Distal biceps; Tendon injuries; Physical examination
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