Biceps Tendon Tears at the Elbow
Biceps Tears at Elbow
Elbow Pain Treatment in St. Louis, Missouri
If you’ve suffered a tear of the distal biceps tendon, you likely heard a loud popping or snapping sound at the moment of injury – perhaps as you were lifting something heavy – and now have pain and bruising at the crease of your elbow.
The distal biceps tendon connects the biceps muscle of your upper arm to the radius, the smaller of the two bones of your forearm.
Because the biceps muscle is what allows you to turn your forearm, a tear in the distal biceps tendon will leave you unable to bend your elbow or perform activities that require you to rotate your forearm, such as turning a doorknob or twisting a screwdriver.
Most often, the tear is due to a sudden injury and is complete – meaning the tendon has completely detached from the bone. When this happens, you may notice your biceps muscle balled up near the top of your upper arm.
Men are more likely to suffer this type of injury than women. Long-term use of corticosteroid medication may increase your risk of a tendon injury like a distal biceps tendon tear.
Treating a Distal Biceps Tendon Tear
Surgery to repair a torn distal biceps tendon is usually required to restore full function of the arm. For best results, it is recommended that this surgery be performed within the first few weeks of the injury so that the buildup of scar tissue on the tendon doesn’t interfere with proper healing.
Minimally invasive arthroscopy can be used to treat a distal biceps tendon tear, which involves repairing and reattaching the tendon to the radius. Common surgical approaches include attaching the tendon to holes drilled into the bone or holding the tendon in place with tiny metal suture anchors.
As is the case with most orthopedic treatments, rehabilitation is critical to regaining your strength and range of motion in your elbow after surgery. Compliance with your doctor’s physical therapy regimen will ensure you heal properly. Outcomes are extremely promising for surgical repair of a distal biceps tendon tear – although it may take several months after surgery before your elbow is fully healed.
Elbow Arthroscopy in St. Louis, MO
Elbow injuries require prompt medical attention – especially if you think you may have snapped a tendon connected to your biceps muscle. For surgical repair you can trust, call the orthopedic office of Jason Browdy, MD in St. Louis, Missouri at (314) 991-2150 or request an appointment now.