Post Operative Instructions

Distal Biceps Tendon Repair

SURGERY AND ANESTHESIA

The surgical procedure takes approximately 45-60 minutes and is done under general anesthesia.An incision is made where the elbow joint bends. The surgical procedure involves sewing the torn end of the ruptured biceps tendon and securing it back down to its insertion site on the radius bone.

DRESSING

Following surgery, the operative arm will be wrapped in ahard splint from the hand to just below the shoulder for immobilization. The splint is to remain in place until your first post-operative appointment. Please do not attempt to remove it. You may shower; however, the entire splint must be wrapped in a bag to keep it completely dry. If the splint accidently becomes wet for any reason, please contact the office immediately.

REST, ICE AND ELEVATION

Use an ice pack or bag of frozen veggies for the first few days following surgery to help with pain control. Ice is helpful in reducing swelling which minimizes the requirements for narcotics. Place the ice directly over the elbow area.

MEDICATION

You will be prescribed two medications following surgery: A pain medication and an anti-nausea medication.

Medication Tips:

  • Do not drive or drink alcohol beverages while taking pain medications.
  • Pain medication should be taken with food to help prevent any stomach upset. You may also take the prescribed anti-nausea medication.
  • Often pain medications will cause constipation. Eat high fiber foods and increase your water intake. You may also purchase a stool softener at any pharmacy and follow the recommended directions on the bottle.
  • You should resume taking your normally prescribed medications unless otherwise directed.

POST-OP APPOINTMENT AND PHYSICAL THERAPY

Your first post-operative appointment will be 7-10 days following surgery. At this appointment, we will remove the splint and check your incision site to be sure it is healing properly. You will be transitioned into a range of motion brace.Physical therapy will begin approximately 4 weeks after surgery once the tendon has had adequate time to heal. It is important to protect the repair during the first few weeks to allow for maximum recovery.

QUESTIONS/CONCERNS

Please contact the office by calling 703-810-5223 for any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever greater than 101.5 degrees F for 24 hours.
  • Severe pain, numbness, loss of color, or coolness to touch in hand.
  • Redness or swelling in the calf that does not resolve overnight.
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, CALL 911.