Surgery for a distal biceps tendon tear repairs a tendon that is
torn near the elbow. The distal biceps tendon connects the biceps muscle to the
elbow bone. During the surgery, the doctor makes a cut (incision) on the inside
of the arm just above the elbow. This allows the doctor to see and repair the tendon. Then the doctor will make another incision on the back of the arm. He or she will reattach the tendon to the bone through that second incision.
If it has been more than a month since the tear, the tendon may have
moved farther up your arm. This makes it too short to reattach it directly to the
bone. Your doctor may use a piece of tissue called a graft to attach the tendon
to the bone. The graft comes from another part of your body, such as the
hamstring. Or it may come from a donor. The incisions leave scars that fade with time.
After the surgery you may have a splint or an elbow brace for 4
to 6 weeks. You may also be in a sling for a week or so. Most people go home on
the same day as the surgery.
You will need rehabilitation
(rehab). This will probably start 4 to 6 weeks after your surgery and last for
about 2 months. It takes about 3 to 4 months for your biceps muscle to heal.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test
results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be
stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
Go to https://www.healthwise.net/patientEd
Enter K972 in the search box to learn more about "Distal Biceps Tendon Repair: Before Your Surgery."
Current as of:
May 23, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
© 2006-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.