Lesions of the biceps pulley: a prospective study and classification update

Frank Martetschläger, Frantzeska Zampeli, Mark Tauber, Peter Habermeyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hypothesis: The purpose of the study was to investigate which anatomic structures are affected in a series of patients with pulley lesions and whether all lesions can be classified according to the Habermeyer classification. Methods: One hundred consecutive patients with pulley lesions were prospectively studied. During arthroscopy, lesions of the superior glenohumeral ligament (SGHL), medial coracohumeral ligament (MCHL) and/or lateral coracohumeral ligament (LCHL), adjacent rotator cuff, and biceps (long head of the biceps) were recorded. All lesions were then classified according to the Habermeyer classification. The χ2 test was used for statistical analysis. Results: There were 3 lesions in group 1, 20 in group 2, 6 in group 3, and 35 in group 4 according to the Habermeyer classification. Thirty-six lesions were not classifiable because of an intact SGHL. A lateral pulley sling (LCHL) lesion was found in 95% of the patients, and a medial pulley sling (MCHL-SGHL) lesion was noted 64%. An isolated lesion of the MCHL and/or SGHL was present in 5%, and an isolated lesion of the LCHL was found in 36%. Combined medial-lateral sling lesions were correlated with complete subscapularis tears and biceps fraying. Conclusion: The lateral pulley sling is more often affected than the medial sling. The SGHL is not always affected, and isolated lesions of the medial sling are rare. Lesions of both slings correlated with complete subscapularis tears and fraying of the long head of the biceps. An updated classification of direct pulley lesions is proposed: type 1, lesion of the medial pulley (MCHL and/or SGHL); type 2, lesion of the lateral pulley (LCHL); and type 3, lesion of the medial and lateral pulley slings. Concomitant lesions of the indirect pulley stabilizers can be mentioned additionally according to the well-known classifications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-323
Number of pages6
JournalJSES International
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2020

Keywords

  • Biceps reflection pulley
  • Descriptive Epidemiology Study
  • biceps instability
  • biceps tendon injury
  • pulley lesion classification
  • pulley lesions
  • pulley sling

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