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Ruptured Bicep Tendon
Billrock34 posted:
I was diagnosed through a MRI that I have a complete ruptured Distal Bicep Tendon , I was strongly urged not to have surgery to repair (risk ooutways results) . What is the recovery time to heal enough to go back to work lifting heavy objects?
rherna75 responded:
A bicep tendon rupture will not heal completely without surgery. You will lose strength in your arm permanently. Pronation strength especially (screwdriver turning motion). Depending on your age and activity level you may not need to repair it, but if you are younger or do a lot of physical labor you should. I ruptured my left distal bicep tendon approximately six years ago and had it repaired and I just ruptured my right one playing with my three year old at the park and am having it repaired tomorrow.
rherna75 replied to rherna75's response:
Other arm muscles can substitute for the injured tendon, usually resulting in full motion and reasonable function. Left without surgical repair, however, the injured arm will have a 30% to 40% decrease in strength, mainly in twisting the forearm (supination). I put pronation, but it is actually supination strength.
Mary Ann Wilmarth, PT, DPT, OCS responded:
If you do work that requires lifting heavy objects, then it is going to be difficult for you to return to doing this effectively. The biceps can represent a third of the strength in the arm and thus you will be weaker when trying to lift.

Surgical repair of the biceps is generally performed within 2-3 weeks after the injury in order to avoid shortening and scarring to occur with the connective tissue. Once repaired the recovery is approximately 2-3 months.

If you have completely ruptured your biceps tendon, then the recovery is often minimsl since the entir tendon has already been torn. However, you will now be asking your arm to function in a different manner and this can take some time to train without further injury.

It sounds like this could impact your work and I would recommend getting a couple of opinions for orthopaedic surgeons. This is always a good idea.

Once you have made your final decision, then it will be important to work with a physical therapist to make sure that you are lifting in th best way.
You can go to and look under 'Find a PT".

Good luck.

Dr. Wilmarth
Billrock34 replied to Mary Ann Wilmarth, PT, DPT, OCS's response:
It has been 7 weeks since the injury , can it still be repaired?
deadmanwalking57 replied to Billrock34's response:
Yes, you've just made it a bit more difficult on yourself.

A buddy tore his pectoral muscle off of his humerus, and ignored it. He told me about it and I insisted he see a doctor. He did have surgery to re-attach it. He is fine now, but is more careful about heavy objects.

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