The first six weeks of recovery following a distal biceps tendon repair will focus on protecting elbow motion. Your active motion of your elbow will be restricted in order to keep tension off of the repair – in other words, you won’t be able to straighten your elbow all the way for a couple weeks. Your surgeon may give you an elbow brace to wear that will keep you in a safe range of motion and can be adjusted to allow more straightening as your healing continues. Your PT will prescribe exercises that will work to maintain motion and strength in the hand and wrist while working on passive range of motion, and starting around weeks 2-3, begin passive, then active-assisted, and finally active range of motion at the elbow. Your typical in-clinic experience may look something like this:
- moist hot pack to elbow/wrist: this increases circulation to promote healing and helps warm up and loosen musculature in anticipation of exercising
- gripping exercises: these can include digi grips, putty, and finger webs
- wrist exercises: the wrist has motion in 4 directions – flexion and extension, radial and ulnar deviation (twisting the wrist – known as supination and pronation – actually starts at the elbow); your PT will have you do stretches and to maintain motion at the wrist
- manual therapy: hands on therapy will include passive range of motion and soft tissue and scar mobilization
- ice pack/vasopneumatic device with IFC: an ice pack will help with pain and with swelling, while the vasopneumatic device provides cold and compression; the IFC will help with post-session pain.
If you are having pain in your arm or have been diagnosed with a biceps tear, please come see us for a free consultation to see how we can assist you in your recovery. To request an appointment, click here, or call directly to one of our three locations during regular business hours:
Cool Springs: 615-224-9810
Spring Hill: 931-489-2022
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is intended to be informational only, and is not intended to be used in lieu of medical care. Consult a doctor or a physical therapist before attempting treatment on your own.