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Biceps Tendon Repair

Biceps Tendon Repair

The biceps muscle is in front of your upper arm. It helps in bending your elbow as well as in rotational movements of your forearm. When the biceps tendon tears or detaches from the bone at the elbow, it results in weakness with bending the elbow and, more significantly, turning the palm up as when turning a screw driver. Once the distal biceps tendon is torn, it cannot reattach to the bone and heal by itself. Permanent weakness with rotatory movements of the forearm may occur if the tendon is not repaired surgically. The prospect of weakness is acceptable to some patients and not others.

Surgical technique

During distal biceps tendon repair, Dr. Driscoll makes a small incision over the upper forearm, where the biceps muscle attaches to the radius bone. The torn biceps tendon is brought up through the incision attached to strong interlocking suture. Then, the radius bone is prepared for tendon reattachment and to promote healing. A small hole is drilled into the radius at the tendon attachment site. The sutures from the tendon are attached to a small metal implant that is passed through the tunnel to secure the tendon back to the bone where it heals.

After the surgery

After the repair is complete, a hinged elbow brace will be applied with your elbow bent at 90 degrees. The brace will be removed after 6-8 weeks and it may take up to 6 months -1 year to regain full strength.

Risks and Complications

Complications are rare and may include numbness and weakness in the forearm, formation of new bone, limited movement, and re-tearing may occur.