Stability of reconstructed paralyzed shoulders using a reflected long head biceps technique

Chak Yin Tang, A. F.T. Mak, L. K. Hung, H. S. Wong, T. Pacaldo

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A new tendon transfer technique is proposed for the reconstruction of the paralyzed shoulders secondary to Brachial Plexus Injury (BPI). In this tendon transfer, the long head of the biceps tendons is utilized as a bridging tendon graft. It is reflected at the exit of the bicipital groove, passed through the deltoid and directed to the trapezius. The technique is referred to here as the Reflected Long Head Bicepts (RLHB) technique. This study evaluated the effect of this tendon transfer on the anterior, posterior, and inferior stability of the reconstructed should using cadaveric specimens. It was shown that loading of the RLHB contributed significantly to anterior stability of the reconstructed shoulder for 90 deg elevation in the scapula plane. The mean displacement was reduced by 56 percent with RLHB loaded (p<0.01), by 56 percent with the rotator cuff loaded (p<0.005), and by 67 percent with both the RLHB and the rotator cuff loaded (p<0.004). For the post-operation conditions, variation of the directions of RLHB had no significant effect on joint displacement in response to anterior loading. The RLHB tendon also contributed to the posterior and inferior stability for the low and middle elevations in the plane of scapula. Two variations of the RLHB tendon transfer procedures, namely the "Sub-Deltoid" and the "Through-Deltoid" techniques, were introduced and studied. These two techniques did not seem to have significantly different effects on the displacement of the humeral head in response to both posterior and inferior loading. The results of this study seemed to support the clinical feasibility of this tendon transfer approach as far as the biomedical stability of the reconstruction is concerned.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-233
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biomechanical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jul 2001


  • Biomechanics
  • Brachial Plexus Injury
  • Reconstructive surgery
  • Shoulder
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physiology (medical)


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