An Overview on Distal Biceps Tendon Repair
The biceps muscle, located in the front of the upper arm, allows the elbow to bend and the forearm to rotate. The muscle attaches to the forearm bone by the use of a tendon that acts like a rope at the end of the muscle. When the tendon becomes detached from the forearm, a distal biceps tendon rupture occurs, leading to elbow pain and weakness. Dr. Nikhil Verma, Chicago, Westchester, Oak Brook and Hinsdale, Illinois area elbow surgeon, typically recommends a distal biceps tendon repair when a patient tears the distal biceps tendon. The surgical procedure helps restore strength and function back to the elbow joint.
When a patient sustains a distal biceps tendon rupture, surgery is commonly the primary treatment method and must be performed within a couple weeks of the tear. Prolonging the distal biceps tendon repair can make the procedure more difficult because of scar tissue and retraction of the tendon.
Dr. Verma performs direct surgical repair of the biceps tendon in a minimally invasive procedure in certain patients. This technique is performed right after the tear occurs and the swelling has decreased. The surgery requires a single, small incision to be created across the middle of the front of the elbow so Dr. Verma can enter the arm and gain control of the disconnected biceps tendon. After the damaged fibers from the torn tendon are removed, Dr. Verma will reattach the biceps tendon to the correct location with surgical sutures and a button in the bone.
If the biceps tendon is no longer present because of a chronic elbow injury, a graft from the patient’s hamstring tendon or a donor tissue is used to rebuild the torn biceps tendon. Dr. Verma will sew into a patient’s native biceps muscle and then sew back into the bone so the biceps muscle will function as needed, providing flexion and rotation to the elbow and forearm.