Proximal versus distal screw placement for biceps tenodesis: A biomechanical study

Daniel Johannes De Villiers, Brian Loh, Mark Tacey, Prue Keith

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6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose. To assess the maximum and end torque of a fourth-generation composite humerus model with no screw inserted or with a screw inserted in the distal (subpectoral) position or proximal (suprapectoral) position. Methods. 24 large-size, fourth-generation composite humeri were randomised to the control (n=8), proximal (n=8), or distal (n=8) group. For the latter 2 groups, an 8-mm-head interference screw (7x25 mm) was inserted at 1 cm proximal and 1 cm distal to the superior aspect of the insertion of the pectoralis major tendon, respectively. The maximum and end torque of each humerus was assessed. Results. Respectively for the control, proximal, and distal groups, the maximum torque was 81.8, 78.7, and 74.3 Nm, and the end torque was 80.7, 78.6, and 71.8 Nm; only the difference between control and distal groups was significant (p=0.005 for maximum torque and p=0.033 for end torque). All fractures in both control and proximal groups involved the distal 1/3 humerus. In the distal group, the fractures involved either the distal 1/3 humerus (n=6) or the screw-hole (n=2); the difference between the 2 types of fracture was not significant in terms of maximum torque (75.7 vs. 70.0, p=0.086) or end torque (75.3 vs. 61.4, p=0.40). Conclusion. Compared with proximal placement of an interference screw, distal placement decreased the maximum torque (though not significantly) and may increase the risk of proximal humeral fracture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-261
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Humerus
  • Tenodesis
  • Torque

Cite this

De Villiers, D. J., Loh, B., Tacey, M., & Keith, P. (2016). Proximal versus distal screw placement for biceps tenodesis: A biomechanical study. Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery, 24(2), 258-261.