It may surprise you to learn that over 95% of patients with a distal bicep rupture are male. This is likely due to the fact that this injury often occurs during contact sports. Even a partial distal bicep tendon tear can be difficult to deal with.
Both of these injuries can require surgery. It’s essential to understand how to recover properly after your procedure. Let’s explore the key information you should know.
Take It Easy
Avoid strenuous activity in the weeks following your surgery. It can take most patients three to four months to fully recover. The good news is that you’ll be able to perform more complex tasks as your recovery progresses.
At first, it might be difficult to pick up a pot of coffee or a textbook. Within a few weeks, you can carefully go back to your daily routine.
Under no circumstances should you play sports, lift weights, or move heavy objects. This carries the risk of causing further injury.
Toward the end of recovery, you can add stretches to your routine. These can help prevent future injuries.
Ice as Necessary
Your arm will likely be swollen in the days following your surgery. The swelling can be uncomfortable and even painful.
It can also substantially reduce your range of motion. Ice your arm regularly for 10 to 20 minutes at a time.
Do this once every one or two hours. It generally takes around three days for this method to reduce swelling.
You should also try to keep your arm above heart level. This can reduce swelling further.
Wear a Splint/Brace as Required
Your doctor may instruct you to wear a splint or brace on your elbow for around 4 to 6 weeks. You might also need a sling for about a week.
Don’t take these off until your doctor has cleared you. Doing so could impede recovery.
It could also cause injury during basic tasks. The last thing you want is to cause another tendon tear. In severe cases, injuries that occur during recovery could lead to additional bicep tendon surgeries.
Learn to Recognize Complications
If your arm isn’t healing right, you should never hesitate to call a medical professional. Major complications include chest pain, shortness of breath, and trouble breathing. Other signs to look out for are:
- Tingling weakness, or numbness
- Pain that doesn’t go away with medication
- Your hand changes color or feels cold
- Warmth/redness (a sign of possible infection)
- Your cast or splint feels too tight
Although these are uncommon, they can be signs of serious complications. Recovery is known to be uncomfortable and sometimes painful, but you should never experience intense pain. Go with your gut when looking for signs and take action if necessary.
Handle Your Partial Distal Bicep Tendon Tear Appropriately
Surgery of any kind can be difficult to recover from. You’ll need to be extra careful after a partial distal bicep tendon tear surgery so you can get back in action as soon as possible.
At Idaho Shoulder 2 Hand, we specialize in providing care to outdoor enthusiasts and athletes. Our professional team offers advanced diagnostics and treatment solutions for patients with shoulder, elbow, and wrist/hand injuries.
Book an appointment with us today. We can assess your condition and connect you with the best solution.