The Operation

The biceps muscle is located in the front of your arm. It is attached to the bones of the shoulder and elbow by tendons — strong cords of fibrous tissue that attach muscles to bones. Tears of the biceps tendon at the elbow are uncommon. They are most often caused by a sudden injury and tend to result in greater arm weakness than injuries to the biceps tendon at the shoulder.

Surgery to repair the tendon should be performed during the first 2 to 3 weeks after injury ideally. The operation involves making an incision in the front of the elbow and attaching the tendon to the radial bone using sutures and bone anchors.

After The Operation

You will find that your arm has been placed in a plaster splint with a bulky dressing. Keep these dressing clean and dry. It is important to begin moving free joints after the operation to stop them stiffening and careful movement of the elbow should begin within one to two weeks. To reduce swelling, keep the arm elevated in a sling or resting upon pillows. Pain killers can be taken as when felt necessary. A new hinge brace will be applied 10-14 days after the surgery usually by the hand therapist after wound check and suture removal. After 7-8 weeks there will be a follow-up appointment made with the surgeon in order to assess the progress of healing and if satisfactory, there may be further mobilisation and strengthening exercises.

Since the biceps tendon takes over 3 months to fully heal, it is important to protect the repair by restricting your activities. Light work activities can begin soon after surgery but heavy lifting and vigorous activity should be avoided for several months. You may begin driving when the brace has been removed and you feel confident in doing so.

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