Evaluation of factors influencing surgical treatment costs for distal biceps rupture.

Document Type


Publication Date



Orthopedics, Sports Medicine

Journal Title

Journal of shoulder and elbow surgery / American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons ... [et al.]

MeSH Headings

Adult, Direct Service Costs, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Muscle, Skeletal, Reoperation, Retrospective Studies, Rupture, Suture Anchors, Tendon Injuries, Treatment Outcome, Wound Healing


BACKGROUND: Given the similar outcomes of various fixation constructs for single-incision distal biceps repair, a critical evaluation of the factors that drive the cost of the procedure is the key to optimizing treatment value. The purpose of this study was to quantify variation in costs for surgical treatment of complete distal biceps ruptures, as well as identify factors affecting costs.

METHODS: We retrospectively identified adult patients consecutively treated surgically for complete distal biceps ruptures between July 2011 and January 2018 at a single academic medical center. Using our institution's information technology value tool, we recorded the surgical encounter total direct costs (SETDCs) for each patient. Univariate and multivariate gamma regression models were used to determine factors affecting SETDCs.

RESULTS: Of 121 included patients, 102 (86%), 7 (6%), and 12 (10%) underwent primary repair, revision, and reconstruction. SETDCs varied widely, with a standard deviation of 40% and a range of 58% to 276% of the average SETDC. The main contributors to SETDCs were facility utilization costs (53%) and implant costs (29%). Implant costs also varied, with a standard deviation of 16%, ranging up to 121% of the mean SETDC. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that reconstructions were 72% more costly than primary repairs (P < .001). No significant cost differences were found between cortical button and dual-suture anchor fixation (P = .058). American Society of Anesthesiologists class, body mass index, revision surgery, time to surgery, location, administration of postoperative block, and surgeon performing the procedure did not significantly affect the SETDC.

CONCLUSION: Surgical encounter and implant costs vary widely for distal biceps rupture treatment. However, no significant difference in SETDC was identified between repair with a cortical button vs. dual-suture anchor repair. The greater costs associated with reconstruction surgery should be taken into consideration.



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