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Distal Biceps Tendon Repair

  • A sudden, excessive strain on the biceps tendon can cause it to be torn from its attachment in the forearm
  • At the time of injury a tearing sensation can often be felt, followed by weakness when trying to bend the arm and/or rotate the hand
  • Bruising may appear around the inner elbow, as well as an abnormal appearance of the biceps muscle (“Popeye” sign)
  • Surgery is necessary to re-attach the biceps tendon
  • The choice to have surgery depends on a variety of factors including activity levels, patient expectations and cosmesis
  • If surgery is chosen it should be performed early – if it is delayed by several weeks the results tend to be poor
  • The operation is usually done as a day case procedure (no overnight stay in hospital)
  • The procedure involves using a metal button to anchor the end of the torn tendon back to the bone (radius)
  • A splint and thereafter a sling is used for up to 6 weeks