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Date of Graduation


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Judy Ortiz, PA-C, MS


Background Rupture of a distal biceps brachii tendon is an uncommon injury only occurring in 3% of cases reported of a biceps tendon rupture. Treatment of distal ruptures usually requires surgical repair. This study evaluates the functional levels of patients with both acute and chronically treated distal biceps brachii tendon ruptures.

Methods Retrospective chart review of patients with the diagnosis of a distal biceps tendon rupture from October 1997 to March 2002 was done. Functional levels were assessed using the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand outcomes (DASH) questionnaire.

Results 41 patients were identified and 21 patients were successfully contacted and completed the DASH questionnaire. 14 patients had acute injuries that were surgically repaired using a two-incision approach, with an average DASH score of 26.21. 6 patients had chronic injuries that were treated non-operatively with an average DASH score of 41.3. 1 patient had a chronic injury that was treated surgically with a DASH score of 24. Two complications were reported post-operatively.

Conclusion Surgical repair, whether done for acute or chronic distal biceps tendon ruptures yields a higher functional status for individuals than those injuries treated non-operatively.


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