Distal Biceps surgery?
Drew

Schuylkill Haven, PA

#61 Jun 26, 2007
Just had my right distal bicep tendon reattached using the suture anchor method on 06-21-07. Dr. Hess at Florida Orthopedic in Tampa FL did the surgery. My arm is still wrapped and in some type of a partial cast. It was almost two months from the date of injury till the surgery. My fault for putting it off. I am a 41 year old police officer so getting back and having good strength in my arms is important. I don't know how many incisions were made but I was told 2 suture anchors were used. No nerve damage that I can tell yet. I have feeling in my hand, fingers, and forearm so far. I am very happy to have found this site. Reading the post have helped me out a lot. Day 1 and 2 after surgery had lots of pain but it subsided quickly. Today I flinched to catch something (stupid me) and the pain and tension about made me pass out. No weight associated with the flinch but WOW!!!! What a reminder that I had surgery less than 1 week ago. Could the anchors have pulled out? I really hope not. I'm looking forward to getting out of this partial cast/wrap. I start PT in a week. That should be lots of fun.

Thanks again and good luck to everyone.
Tricia

Newburyport, MA

#62 Jun 26, 2007
Hi Brian,
Thanks for the comments/advice. We did get a second opinion today from a very well known orthopedic Dr. They actually work on a lot of athletes in our area (including Celtics, Bruins etc). They are considered "the best". We were very fortunate to have a friend that got us "in" to see Dr today on an emergency type appointment (yea, she used to fact I'm getting married on July 7th as a sense of desperation to get my Mom seen asap).
The appointment went VERY well. This tear isn't in the elbow area but rather up in the shoulder. He showed us exactly how it isn't possible for it to be in the elbow area through different tests he had her perform. This Dr had a much better bed side manner than the frist. He knew his stuff and was able to explain it very clearly to both of us and it all made sense.
He ordered an MRI to be sure there isn't any other rotator cuff issues to worry about or anything to "clean up." He wants to follow up next week. The severe bruising she has now, is due to the aspirin she was taking daily to help with the pain (before the complete tear on Sat).
Though his assessment with the location of the injury differs from the first Dr., he agrees to NOT have surgery. He mentioned the success rate isn't that great for this type of surgery and it's a lot to go through not to get 100%. Generally, he tries to talk guys that come to him, out of doing the surgery, depending on their lifestyle, extent of injury etc. In addition, the ROM and strength my Mom currently has, is a lot better than what he thought it was going to be. And this is before she's done any PT.
Evidently this Dr. has written many papers and there is no document of a woman ever tearing the bicep in the elbow area - for woman, it's more common in the shoulder area (which he assesses is what my Mom has). He advised either tear (elbow or shoulder area), he wouldn't recommend surgery for her. He just performed 5 surgeries repairing this problem last week (this is his speciality -each Dr at ProSports get a limb. His is elbow/shoulder). He only recommends it for those in professions such as athletes, construction workers, etc.
I spoke with a friend at work today whom suffered the exact same injury. Opted not to do surgery (at the time, she was in her mid-30's) and with 8 months of therapy including a lot of aqua therapy locally, she was back to 100%.
So, I am optimistic that we made the right decision not to do surgery. For our situation, it makes sense.
Tony

UK

#63 Jun 27, 2007
I ruptured my distal tendons during a kickboxing bout, his elbow went into my bicep.I am now 2 weeks post op, my surgeon has developed a new technique of drilling into the radius and tying the tendon thru the bone and capping it off on the other side.Just had the staples out and plaster off and luckily I do not have to have the plaster put back on as originally planned. Healing has gone well but palm rotation is minimal and very painfull, also numbness in forearm and arm is stuck at 90 degrees.Been told its a 90% success rate and may take uo to a year for full recovery.I am told by my surgeon that it was a very rare injury and that only 457 of these have been logged in Great Britain in the last 100 years.So its reassuring to read some of your positive posts here guys.
Jim

Edmonton, Canada

#64 Jun 27, 2007
Slow in Canada...

Its almost a month since the distal rupture. MRI results show a complete 'avulsion'. I think it might be only partial because there is some pain associated with flexing. I'm going to see the surgeon on Friday.

DREW: How long do you think it will be before you get back to work? I'm in corrections. So I face a similar need for arm strength.
George

Milford, CT

#65 Jun 27, 2007
5 wks post op.Robot arm brace coming off tomorrow.I have full range of motion and the surgery was a complete success.My arm is about half the size it was before i tore the bicep,but my doc says i should have a high 90% recovery.
Andy

UK

#66 Jun 30, 2007
Tony- I ruptured mine on 6 jun,had stitches and staples out on 26 june, in plaster for another 2 weeks (10 july)then to start exercising I am told.
Did you have an incision in the elbow fold and one on the outside of the elbow?
CalgaryGuy

Calgary, Canada

#67 Jul 5, 2007
ok

just had 2 week checkup with doc. He removed the old cast explained how to bend my elbow without using my bicep, gave me a half cast and said id be doing r.o.m exercises for the next 4 weeks

yay
Jim

New Rochelle, NY

#68 Jul 6, 2007
i had my surgery on june27th. popped the tendon moving firewood. i am currently in an adjustable brace. i have 30* right now. wearing an elastic bandage to keep swelling down. hurts a little at the bottom of my wrist. i think i am trying to do too much at times.
you guys were right about the 2nd day of pain. 2 pain pills every 4 hours. 3rd day maybe 2 pills all day. now just advil at night. stiches should be out tuesday. thanks for posting your stories. makes me knowhat to expect. jim
Andy

UK

#69 Jul 7, 2007
I am 4 weeks post op, had stitches out 2 weeks post op.Cast is coming off Tuesday then rehab exercises. I too have alot of pain in the wrist area, again probably trying to do too much.
Kevin

El Segundo, CA

#70 Jul 8, 2007
I am 8 weeks Post Op, seeing the Doc on the 10th. I am 2 weeks behind having my Brace adjusted due to schedule conflicts. I have been removing it on my own and have 100% ROM with minimal pain. The only thing I noticed is my Bicep is still somewhat retracted while flexing it in a pose. I know the tendon is strong, when I straighten my arm out the bicep elongates correctly. The proximal tendon is still dominate and I believe it's because of the 45 degree angle my arm as been at for most of the time. Can anyone comment on this?
Drew

Schuylkill Haven, PA

#71 Jul 8, 2007
Jim wrote:
Slow in Canada...
Its almost a month since the distal rupture. MRI results show a complete 'avulsion'. I think it might be only partial because there is some pain associated with flexing. I'm going to see the surgeon on Friday.
DREW: How long do you think it will be before you get back to work? I'm in corrections. So I face a similar need for arm strength.
I am now about 2 ½ weeks post op. I’m hoping to go back to a desk position mid next week. I am in a “blexo brace” which limits my arm between 90 and 35 degrees. My doctor said it could be anywhere between 3 and 6 months a full duty return. I’ve had some set backs though. A recent x-ray showed that the two suture anchors put in my radius bone have pulled out about ½ way. Lots of pain in my wrist and forearm. I can only rotate my palm slightly. Good luck for a speedy recovery. Stay safe.
Drew

Schuylkill Haven, PA

#72 Jul 8, 2007
Jim wrote:
Slow in Canada...
Its almost a month since the distal rupture. MRI results show a complete 'avulsion'. I think it might be only partial because there is some pain associated with flexing. I'm going to see the surgeon on Friday.
DREW: How long do you think it will be before you get back to work? I'm in corrections. So I face a similar need for arm strength.
I am now about 2 ½ weeks post op. I’m hoping to go back to a desk position mid next week. I am in a “blexo brace” which limits my arm between 90 and 35 degrees. My doctor said it could be anywhere between 3 and 6 months a full duty return. I’ve had some set backs though. A recent x-ray showed that the two suture anchors put in my radius bone have pulled out about ½ way. Lots of pain in my wrist and forearm. I can only rotate my palm slightly. Good luck for a speedy recovery. Stay safe.

PS I double checked. The brace is a Bledso Brace.
Mike

Hollywood, FL

#73 Jul 8, 2007
Drew,sounds like you're doing too much too soon. My Doctor told me not to fire the bicep at all for 6 weeks. ROM is good but it takes the tendon, according to him 3 months to heal to 90%. If your screws pulled out like that will you need more surgery? Glad to see no one else got radial nerve palsy. I work on jets and thought my career was over. Many people who gets this surgery seems overeager to return to normal, you just have to have patient, in my opinion. Make sure you get a Certified Hand Therapist for your PT, it makes a world of difference.Best wishes to all.
Mike in Fort Lauderdale.
Drew

Schuylkill Haven, PA

#74 Jul 8, 2007
Mike wrote:
Drew,sounds like you're doing too much too soon. My Doctor told me not to fire the bicep at all for 6 weeks. ROM is good but it takes the tendon, according to him 3 months to heal to 90%. If your screws pulled out like that will you need more surgery? Glad to see no one else got radial nerve palsy. I work on jets and thought my career was over. Many people who gets this surgery seems overeager to return to normal, you just have to have patient, in my opinion. Make sure you get a Certified Hand Therapist for your PT, it makes a world of difference.Best wishes to all.
Mike in Fort Lauderdale.
Mike, I think you are right. I do have a problem with trying to get back into the swing of things too quickly. My Dr. only had me in a partial plaster cast for 10 days. About 5 days post op the cast fractured mid forearm allowing way too much movement in the elbow. The earliest I could be seen to get it repaired was the next day. Stupid me decided to go to the movies. Well I was about to drop a 44 oz Diet Coke onto my lap ( was lifting it left handed) and inadvertently flinched to catch it. Wow what a mistake. The pain was so intense I about passed out. Pretty sure that’s when the pullout happened. The next day I got re-casted and relayed the event to them. I even told the PA when I went for my 1st post op checkup about 10 days after surgery. That was when they took the x-rays. The PA wouldn’t comment on the suture anchors and still went ahead with the ROM brace. The x-ray showed 2 anchors only in the bone 1/2 way on the topside of a pretty decent size hole in the opposite side of the bone. Shouldn't they be flush with the bone and or recessed a bit? I don’t meet with the Dr. until July 11th. I really hope surgery isn’t needed again but if it is then I hope I can sit still for a while to let it heal. Thanks for the advice. Drew, Tampa, FL
Mike

Hollywood, FL

#75 Jul 8, 2007
Drew wrote:
<quoted text>
Mike, I think you are right. I do have a problem with trying to get back into the swing of things too quickly. My Dr. only had me in a partial plaster cast for 10 days. About 5 days post op the cast fractured mid forearm allowing way too much movement in the elbow. The earliest I could be seen to get it repaired was the next day. Stupid me decided to go to the movies. Well I was about to drop a 44 oz Diet Coke onto my lap ( was lifting it left handed) and inadvertently flinched to catch it. Wow what a mistake. The pain was so intense I about passed out. Pretty sure that’s when the pullout happened. The next day I got re-casted and relayed the event to them. I even told the PA when I went for my 1st post op checkup about 10 days after surgery. That was when they took the x-rays. The PA wouldn’t comment on the suture anchors and still went ahead with the ROM brace. The x-ray showed 2 anchors only in the bone 1/2 way on the topside of a pretty decent size hole in the opposite side of the bone. Shouldn't they be flush with the bone and or recessed a bit? I don’t meet with the Dr. until July 11th. I really hope surgery isn’t needed again but if it is then I hope I can sit still for a while to let it heal. Thanks for the advice. Drew, Tampa, FL
Wow, not too sure Drew, but normal screw repairs, sheetmetal, construction are flush. Take it real easy until then I would recommend. If the x-ray shows them pulled out, I would get them reinserted, so sorry to hear about your setback, but get it right, you'll be glad you did in the long run. I would anyway.When you do, take it real easy for 6 weeks, let it heal, short term sacrifice is worth long term benefit. However if your Doctor misguided you, take him to court.
Best wishes and a speedy recovery,
Mike
Check this out.

http://www.orthogate.org/patient-education/el...
Curtis Winnipeg Canada

Winnipeg, Canada

#76 Jul 9, 2007
I just had my distal bicep tendon re-attached 3 days ago and I've been noticing that my fingers feel a little numb today.I'm in a half-cast and sling and am following my surgeoens instructions to a "T". I didn't have much of an issue with pain except when I awoke after the surgery. The meds they gave me worked really good.
Jim

Edmonton, Canada

#77 Jul 9, 2007
I've been noticing some comments on finger problems. Are there any guitar players out there and are there any finger dexterity problems? I asked a surgeron if he would recommend this opperation for a professional musician (I'm not but I enjoy it), he said no.

The surgeron I saw said it would take to long to get in, he wants WCB to put a rush on it. The tear happened on May 28. Did anyone here wait over 4 weeks for the opperation?

If this new surgeon tells me I'll have less than a 50% success rate I'll probably tell him to screw it. The biceps looks almost like normal, doesn't feel too bad, I am eager to start getting it back in shape.

Drew: Sorry to hear about your arm, hope everything goes well. We don't have light duties where I work so I'll be at home healing the whole time I guess.

Jim
Jim

New Rochelle, NY

#78 Jul 9, 2007
Curtis Winnipeg Canada wrote:
I just had my distal bicep tendon re-attached 3 days ago and I've been noticing that my fingers feel a little numb today.I'm in a half-cast and sling and am following my surgeoens instructions to a "T". I didn't have much of an issue with pain except when I awoke after the surgery. The meds they gave me worked really good.
i still have a little numbness on my wrist but my fingers feel fine. my arm/hand are very swollen mostly because of the heat here 90.6* right now. tomorrow i hopefully get the stitches out so will be able to go in the pool maybe. i still have been taking 2 advil before bed. my question for the doc is how long will i be out of work? i do electronic repair so i need 2 hands. jim
Mike

Hollywood, FL

#79 Jul 10, 2007
Jim wrote:
<quoted text>
i still have a little numbness on my wrist but my fingers feel fine. my arm/hand are very swollen mostly because of the heat here 90.6* right now. tomorrow i hopefully get the stitches out so will be able to go in the pool maybe. i still have been taking 2 advil before bed. my question for the doc is how long will i be out of work? i do electronic repair so i need 2 hands. jim
3 months and your tendon should be 90%. My Doctor told me not to fire the bicep at all for the first 2 months. Working will be your and your employer's call. If they'll allow light duty or not. The main thing is you don't want any set backs.The numbness you feel may be due to the sensory nerve being stretched or a tight cast. As long as your fingers move normal you're in good shape.
Curtis Winnipeg Canada

Winnipeg, Canada

#80 Jul 10, 2007
Well my fingers feel better today. Maybe I slept funny. Mike you said that the tendon should be 90% by 3 months ? My doctor said 6-8 months. My distal bicep tendon tore completely off the bone. Not ripping the tendon just clean off the bone. I like the way your doctor thinks. I hope I fall in the 3 month 90% category. I'm 34 and very fit and healthy. I train in the gym 5 days a week play hockey once a week even in the summer and play rugby 3 days a week during the summer. Although I think that this injury has put me into retirement from rugby as I would not want to go thru this ever again.

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