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Bicep tendon rupture. Any experience with the healing process?


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Having surgery on the 12th to reattach my left distal bicep tendon. So, curious if anyone else has had this type of injury and what their rehab & healing experiences were like? I understand that everyone is different, but I'm collecting as much info as I can from others, so I can maximize my outcome. Looking forward to getting on the other side of this injury so I can rebuild!

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Hey Bryan, I had a compleat distal bicep rupture on my left arm almost a year ago in December. I had to wait till February to have my surgery done witch put me at about 51/2 weeks after my injury. For this injury the sooner the better you have surgery the better. They say with in 4 wheels is optimum. I was stressed about being almost 6 weeks after injury but all worked out just fine for me. After surgery the first week I did not really do much of any thing just rested. I did have pain from the surgery but was not that big of a deal. I was back working 1 1/2 weeks after because I was pressed for time on the project I was on at the time. Being self employed and owning my own company there is never a good time to just take it easy. So getting back to work ASAP was the best thing for my recovery. Getting active and moving the arm as much as I could really helped my healing. I work with my hands I'm a toy sculptor, model maker, prototyper & inventor for the toy industry. The project I was working on at the time was a pretty big hot wheels track set and was pretty tall witch forced me to stretch my arm, use my hands constantly, more than if it was a single table top design. All helping me to get back to normal faster. Now the one thing I am really thankful for was that it was not my right arm. If it was I would have really struggled to get anything done as I'm right handed. I hope that is In your favor to, it makes it all more manageable.

The Dr I went to has worked with many many pro motocross guys and gals and is a rider himself. The approach he took with me was no cast or rom will lead to faster recovery and rebuild. I've read horror stories of people being in hard casts for up to 6 weeks after surgery witch is OLD school type orthopedics. Everyone is different and each case is different. I was is a soft cast for 11/2 weeks and then only a sling witch I was suppose to ware up to the 3rd month. That was really hard to keep that thing on all the time. After about 3 weeks I ended up only really using it if I was out to remind myself not to suddenly reach for something to jerk my arm suddenly. At home and stuff I would just keep my arm tucked close to my body like it was I'm the sling. After 3 months my Dr cleared me to ride again. One thing I've noticed is when your bicep muscle and tendon are healing into the 6-8 month time frame you really start feeling it regenerating itself and betting stronger. There is quote a bit of atrophy the muscle goes threw with this injury. I do feel weakness in my left arm to this day but over time it has gotten better. Over time I'm sure i won't even feel it. My entire experience with this injury I had very little pain, even the day I did it and days after it. Really surprising how little pain I've had. I did have pain after surgery but was only on meds for about 5 days or so. All In all the worst part about it was not being able to go riding I was so bummed. But it's all behind me now and I can't believe its almost year now. You will soon be saying the same thing. Let me know of u have any questions.

Here is a really good resource. And YES believe it or not there is a forum dedicated to ONLY this injury. It help me a lot.

Distal bicep tendon rupture forum

http://tendonsurgeryinfo.com/distalbiceps/index.php

Here's my battle scar!

image.jpg

Edited by Bill_B
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Thanks for the reply! Fortunately I'll have surgery with 1.5 weeks of the injury. I pretty much self diagnosed, but the ortho confirmed what I knew it was. And, like you, even immediately after the tear, not a lot of pain.

 

I'll have to ask about the casting. I know that they want to put me in a half side cast for about 10 days, then a mechanical base for another 4. If the repair is strong enough, I want to start moving ASAP.

 

Did you have the button surgery? Also, any residual nerve issues? The latter freaks me about a bit I must admit. Not worried about the pain a bit, I just want to go on the other side and start my rehab. Sonbiatch! :banghead:

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Thanks for the reply! Fortunately I'll have surgery with 1.5 weeks of the injury. I pretty much self diagnosed, but the ortho confirmed what I knew it was. And, like you, even immediately after the tear, not a lot of pain.

Did yours feel like a power band snapping? Mine just snapped while I was hunched over picking up my bike. I was just in a bad postion, stretched out, and over extended while trying to lift my bike up off the ground and it when SNAP! Same move I've done a hundred times but was in the wrong position.

How did you do yours?

 

I'll have to ask about the casting. I know that they want to put me in a half side cast for about 10 days, then a mechanical base for another 4. If the repair is strong enough, I want to start moving ASAP.

Ya the sooner the better. No ROM brace for me. I kinda felt left out at first becose dr did not prescribe one for me. I read a lot about people talking about the brace. Seams to be the standard treatment. But glad I only had the sling. Personally I don't think the ROM brace is necessary. YOU and your ARM will dictate just how much you will be able to move it. Gradually day by day you will be able to move it more and more each day. After have going threw this I just don't see the benfit of the brace. I think it's just standard procedure type of thing and some orthos take a more aggressive approach. 1st thing I told my dr was I ride and wanted to ries as soon as I could. Maybe that is why he approached my post op plan with out the brace?

 

Did you have the button surgery? Also, any residual nerve issues? The latter freaks me about a bit I must admit. Not worried about the pain a bit, I just want to go on the other side and start my rehab. Sonbiatch! :banghead:

Ya have the endo button. No nerve issues at all. The only post op thing that happened that freaked me out was on 2 occasions it felt like the button shifted and it was a little joint of pain. Kind of thing that makes you say WTF? Was that! OUCH!

The latter freaks me about a bit I must admit. ? Not sure what your talking about here?

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Well I'm less than 24 hours post surgery. Outside of a very deep ache everything is good.  Very happy to be on the other side. I opted for a nerve block shot and I'm so glad that I did. My arm was completely numb for about 15 hours so I felt no pain. Day 1 down!

Glad it went well. Now just about 90 days to go and you will be back on ur bike befor you know it. Good luck with your recovery!

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Friend of mine had it done late last year and it was 6 months before he was allowed back on the bike.  It's not the time taken to get full movement back but the time required for a full and solid rejoin to take place.  It might feel fine and strong after 3 months but it's not and you really need to give it the extra time.  It's apparently a common injury in older guys and weightlifters.  Don't rush it Bryan.

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Hey Bryan, hows the recovery going? Are you in a ROM brace or only sling?  As per the last post you will be fine after 3 months or so, you will feel weakness but you will be strong enough to ride.  At the 6-8 month range you will start really feeling your bicep rebuilding it self at least i did.  but I did not really push recovery with weights or exercise program. just let it happen on its own.  

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Hard half cast comes off tomorrow! 👍 Then on to a removable mech brace for 30 days, only removed for ROM exercises, PT, massage therapy for scar tissue and sleep.

No pain at this point, but some sensory changes in fingers. Feels like extremely dry skin with slight loss of sensitivity, but from what I've read, this should resolve on its own. No motor issues through. :applause:   In fact, finger sensation seem to have improved over the weekend. Not worried. I will be rebuilding with weights when cleared. Low weight,  high reps.

 

I feel good and ready to start PT. I'm never this sedentary. Driving me nuts! :crazy:

 

Thx for asking. :cheers:

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It will all return, trust your PTist.

After six months with my pec I was able to cable bench a massive 12lbs, twitching and unstable the whole time. Now I'm the normal big wuss of the past. In three months get aggressive and everything will be the same.

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