Together with the OrthoCarolina Research Institute, a team of OrthoCarolina Sports Medicine Center physicians embarked on a research project to help even the gender divide, studying distal bicep repair specifically in women.
Historically, women's health has been vastly under-researched in clinical studies. Dr. Pat Connor led the project with the goal of educating other physicians that, in fact, women do rupture their biceps and this injury may present differently for women than men.
"It's important to know that distinction as we treat our patients to avoid any prolonged pain that can come from a delayed diagnosis," Dr. Connor said.
The results of the study were eye-opening as the research team was able to compile the largest cohort of female distal bicep repair patients ever published.
Until a few years ago, Dr. Connor said he almost never saw distal bicep ruptures in women. Although still rare, they are seeing more women injure their biceps to the point of needing surgery.
The group found that their female patients tend to undergo surgery at an older age compared to men in a similar OrthoCarolina study and that surgical solutions were successful in both male and female patients. The key difference they found between men and women who require distal bicep repair surgery is that the injury sometimes presents differently.
The common indicator for a ruptured distal bicep is when the tendon "rolls up the arm like a window shade,” Dr. Connor explained. In the female patients observed for this study, the tendon didn’t always detach.
The OrthoCarolina Research Institute is leading the charge to facilitate relevant orthopedic research which advances orthopedic treatments, improves the quality of life for patients, and educates the medical community.
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