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Biceps Tendon Ruptures

Biceps Tendon Ruptures

Distal biceps tendon ruptures are relatively rare injuries that can occur in individuals who perform repetitive overhead lifting or activities that involve heavy lifting. This type of injury can cause significant pain and loss of function in the affected arm.



The biceps muscle is located in the front of the upper arm and is responsible for flexing the elbow and rotating the forearm. The distal biceps tendon connects the biceps muscle to the radius bone in the forearm.



Distal biceps tendon ruptures occur when the tendon is completely torn away from the bone due to excessive force.  This can result in severe pain, weakness, and loss of function in the affected arm.


Mechanism of Injury:

The mechanism of injury for distal biceps tendon ruptures typically involves a sudden, forceful contraction of the biceps muscle, such as during heavy lifting or pulling. This can cause the tendon to tear away from the bone, resulting in severe pain and loss of function.



The symptoms of a distal biceps tendon rupture may include sudden severe pain in the front of the elbow, swelling, bruising, weakness in the affected arm, and difficulty rotating the forearm.


Treatment Options:

The treatment of distal biceps tendon ruptures depends on the severity of the injury and the patient's overall health. In general, operative management is recommended for complete tears or high-grade injuries, while non-operative management is recommended for partial tears or low-grade injuries.


Non-operative management typically involves rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy to reduce pain and inflammation and promote healing. In some cases, a brace or splint may also be recommended to support the affected arm and reduce stress on the damaged tendon.


Operative management typically involves surgical repair of the torn tendon, which may involve suturing the tendon back to the bone or using a graft to reinforce the repair. Physical therapy is also an important component of post-operative management to restore strength and range of motion.


Recovery from surgery:

Recovery from distal biceps tendon repair surgery can take several months and requires a comprehensive rehabilitation program. In the immediate post-operative period, the patient will need to wear a brace or splint to protect the affected arm and allow for healing. Physical therapy will be necessary to restore range of motion and strength in the affected arm, with a gradual return to normal activities over several months.


Overall, the treatment of distal biceps tendon ruptures requires a comprehensive approach that takes into account the severity of the injury and the patient's overall health. With prompt and appropriate treatment, most patients can achieve a good outcome and return to normal activities. However, recovery from surgery can be a long and challenging process that requires patience and dedication to rehabilitation.

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