Milwaukee Elbow Doctor Performs Biceps Surgery
Biceps tendon repair is a surgical procedure to treat a torn or ruptured distal biceps tendon. There is also a surgical procedure done to repair a torn distal triceps tendon. The biceps muscle and tendons are in the front of the upper arm. The biceps muscles main function is to help bend your elbow and rotate your forearm. It also helps stabilize your shoulder.
The biceps muscle has 2 tendons: the proximal biceps tendon (attaches to glenoid of shoulder) and distal biceps tendon (attaches to radial tuberosity of elbow). If you tear the distal biceps tendon at the elbow, you will lose strength in your arm and be unable to forcefully supinate your forearm (turn your arm from palm down to palm up).
The main cause of a distal biceps tendon tear is a sudden or acute overload injury. For example, when lifting a heavy box, you may not realize how heavy it is causing overload to your biceps muscles and tendons. The stress on your biceps increases when the elbow is forced straight against resistance. Then suddenly the distal biceps tendon tears away from the radial tuberosity of the elbow.
Biceps Muscle Doctor Helps Wisconsin Patients Recover
Healing of tissues in the body depends on a good blood supply to the injured area. Wherever tendons attach to bone, there is a relatively poor blood supply. Therefore, when a tendon gets injured or degenerates from normal wear and tear and/or overload or overuse injuries (repetitive stress injuries), it has a limited ability to heal itself. Once torn, the distal biceps tendon will not grow back to the radial tuberosity of the elbow and heal. You will still be able to move your elbow, but permanent weakness during supination will occur if this tendon is not surgically repaired.
An open repair is done (repair performed with direct visualization through a smaller incision). Dr. Gertel uses a two-incision technique to attach the distal biceps tendon back to its normal insertion at the radial tuberosity. The repair is done using sutures and small surgical instruments. Your arm will be placed in a splint and sling after surgery is completed. Surgery is done under general anesthesia and as an outpatient procedure (you are able to go home the same day).
There are always risks and benefits of surgery, and there are never any 100% guarantees regarding the outcome of surgery. Dr. Gertel’s goal is to minimize the risks and help guide you to the best path of recovery. A hinged elbow brace will be used for approximately 4-6 weeks after surgery as you regain elbow range of motion. Then physical therapy will begin at approximately 6 weeks after surgery. Recovery time after surgery may take up to 4-6 months depending on the physical demands of your job.