Surgery reattaching the tendon to the bone is required to regain full function and arm strength
Non-Surgical treatment may be recommended if the patient is older or not active. It may also be recommended if the injury occurs in a non-dominant arm where you can tolerate less arm function.
These procedures focus on relieving pain maintaining as much arm function as possible. Treatment options include:
- Rest: Avoid heavy lifting or any overhead activities. Your doctor may also recommend using a sling
- Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medication: Ibuprofen and Naproxen help reduce pain and swelling.
- Physical Therapy: Once your pain reduces, your doctor may recommend exercises to strengthen the muscles around the bicep and tendons. This will help regain function in your arm.
Surgical procedures should be performed within 2-3 weeks of the injury. After the third week the muscles begins to shorten and scar which decrease the possibility of regaining function in the arm.
There are several procedures to reattach the distal bicep tendon to the forearm bone. Some doctors perform a procedure involving one incision in front of the elbow, while others perform a procedure involving an incision in the front and back of the elbow
One common surgical procedure attaches the tendon with stitches through holes drilled in the radius bone. Another procedure attaches the tendon to the bone using small metal implants.