Distal bicep tendon repair

Surgery to reattach a torn tendon in your forearm

This procedure can be used to repair a tendon injury and help you regain strength and range of movement

What is a distal bicep repair?

Tendon injuries to the shoulder and upper arm are not uncommon and are rarely serious.

Your consultant may suggest surgery to repair your distal biceps — the tendon that attaches your biceps muscle to your forearm bone — if you have a rupture or serious tear that hasn't healed with non-surgical treatment, such as physiotherapy.

Need to know

  • What happens during distal bicep repair surgery? icon plus

    Surgery to repair a distal biceps tendon is usually done under general anaesthetic. Your surgeon will make a small cut on your upper forearm near your elbow.

    They will use specialised instruments to remove any damaged tissue on the end of the tendon before reattaching it to your forearm bone with strong anchoring stitches.

    Older or more serious tendon injuries may require a larger cut, or your surgeon may need to take a tendon graft from another area of your body. They will recommend the best approach for you. Your surgeon will then close the cut with stitches and protect the area with an elbow brace while it heals.
  • How to prepare for surgery icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. If you're having general anaesthetic, they'll tell you how long you should avoid eating and drinking beforehand.

    Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • After surgery icon plus

    You should be able to go home the same day as your procedure. You will likely need to wear a brace on your elbow for several weeks to keep your tendon in the correct position. Full recovery can take up to a year.

    Your consultant will let you know what to expect and how to care for your arm as your tendon heals. They may recommend some simple physiotherapy exercises to help you regain your strength and range of movement.

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This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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