Simultaneous Acute Rotator Cuff Tear and Distal Biceps Rupture in a Strongman Competitor

George MS. “Simultaneous Acute Rotator Cuff Tear and Distal Biceps Rupture in a Strongman Competitor”. Orthopedics 2010; 16:268-270

Acute rotator cuff tear is commonly associated with tearing of the proximal biceps tendon, but has never been reported to occur simultaneously with a distal biceps tendon rupture. A 38-year-old right-hand-dominant strongman competitor attempted a 300-pound overhead axle press and experienced immediate pain in the right shoulder and elbow. He had no known systemic risk factors for tendon ruptures including hyperparathyroidism, hemodialysis, alcoholism, rheumatoid arthritis, statin medications, fluoroquinolones, and steroid use.Right shoulder magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed a full-thickness supraspinatus tear with 3 cm of retraction. There was minimal fatty infiltration of the supraspinatus on the sagittal cuts consistent with acute rupture. The subscapularis was intact. The long head of the biceps tendon had mild medial subluxation but was completely within the bicipital groove. Right elbow MRI showed a complete distal biceps tendon rupture. Thirteen days after his injury, the patient underwent arthroscopic supraspinatus repair and proximal biceps tenodesis. Distal biceps tendon repair was performed using the modified 2-incision muscle-splitting technique. At 24-month follow-up, the patient was pain free and had returned to full activity including weightlifting but had not returned to strongman competition.This is the first report of simultaneous acute full thickness ruptures of the rotator cuff and distal biceps tendon. This case report underscores the importance of a complete physical examination and a high index of suspicion for additional concomitant injuries, particularly in athletes with unusually high stresses to the body.

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