Go Back   Rearm Yourself Community Forum > Main Category > Main Forum

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-27-2010, 08:13 PM
DonJ DonJ is offline
Junior Member
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 2
Default What's the best treatment for a torn biceps tendon at the elbow?

I am 54 and was lifting a piece of furniture 1 week ago and felt a pop in my arm. My PCP told me I may have torn my biceps tendon, and should see an orthopaedic surgeon.
Although I have a desk job, I am fairly active, and wonder what the pros and cons of surgery are. I do not want an operation if it is not necesary, but by the same token, I want to have reasonable function for the next several years!
Reply With Quote
Old 06-27-2010, 09:08 PM
mtomaino's Avatar
mtomaino mtomaino is offline
Super Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 144

Historically, ignoring this injury was the norm, and for the most part functional outcomes were reported to be reasonable. As surgical techniques and newer fixation techniques have developed, early surgical intervention has become not only very feasible, but also efficacious. Elbow flexion strength and endurance, and supination strength and endurance can be restored to near normal, with a very low risk of complications. In my experience, patients like yourself have done very well with surgery. By the same token, your pain will settle down without---and your elbow range of motion and flexion strength will be okay.

However, supination and flexion endurance will not return to normal.

When surgery is delayed more than 4-6 weeks, a primary repair may not be possible, in which case options include transfer to the brachialis muscle or reconstruction using allograft tendon. The complication rate is increased slightly for more chronic cases, but functional outcomes, and endurance gains have been supported by the literature.

Complete tears are often diagnosed without an MRI, but in more chronic cases, an MRI can assist in locating how far proximally the tendon has retracted. Further, partial tears can be diagnosed--for which surgical debridement and reattachment are possible when a trial of nonoperative treatment fails.

I use a single incision technique and use a biotenodesis screw and biceps button (Arthrex Inc). This is typiclly outpatient surgery, and performed with a regional anesthesia. After 1, week passive motion is started, and after 3-4 weeks I discontinue a sling--but in most cases a splint is not necessary. Strengthening starts at 8-10 weeks, and unrestricted use can begin at 4 months.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:42 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.