The Impact of Workers' Compensation on Recovery After Biceps Tenodesis

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Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery


Background: There remains a paucity of studies examining the impact of workers' compensation (WC) on a variety of outcomes after biceps tenodesis. The purpose of this study was to compare the postoperative recovery curves after biceps tenodesis in patients with and without WC claims.

Methods: Using the Surgical Outcomes System database, we assessed the postoperative recovery outcomes of all patients who had outcomes recorded at least 6 months after isolated biceps tenodesis for the treatment of a diagnosis of biceps tendinitis, stratified by WC status. The outcomes analyzed included visual analog scale, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, VR-12 (Veterans RAND 12 Item Health Survey) mental and physical, Simple Shoulder Test, and Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation scores.

Results: Overall, 139 patients with WC claims underwent isolated biceps tenodesis vs. 786 patients without WC claims. Demographic characteristics and comorbidities were similar in the 2 groups. Patients without WC claims had significantly improved visual analog scale, VR-12, American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation, and Simple Shoulder Test scores at all times points after 3 months and 1 year compared with patients with WC claims.

Conclusions: On analysis of patients' recovery after isolated biceps tenodesis, WC claims led to significantly worse pain and functional outcomes at every time point of analysis (3, 6, 12, and 24 months). Furthermore, patients with WC claims had worse preoperative-to-postoperative improvements in most outcomes. This information can be used to educate surgeons and patients on postoperative expectations, as well as to perform analyses focused on health economics, value, and policy.



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Biceps tendinitis, Biceps tenodesis, arthroscopy, shoulder, workers' compensation, workmans' compensation