What is a distal biceps tendon injury?
The biceps are two muscles that are responsible for outward rotation and flexion of the forearm at the elbow. These muscles originate at the top of the shoulder and travel along the anterior (front) portion of the upper arm to the radial tuberosity, a bony prominence on the radius (thumb side forearm bone), where they are anchored by the distal biceps tendon. A distal biceps tendon injury occurs when this tendon becomes partially or completely separated from its attachment site on the radial tuberosity. Although rare, a distal biceps tendon injury necessitates immediate surgical intervention to reattach the tendon to the correct anatomical site. The individuals with the highest likelihood of sustaining a distal biceps tendon injury are weightlifters and those who lift unusually heavy objects as part of their work duties.
What is the treatment for a distal biceps tendon injury?
Asymptomatic distal biceps tendon injuries or patients with mild partial tears of the distal biceps tendon may consider initial treatment with non-operative therapies. These can include rest, ice, elbow joint immobilization for a short duration, physical therapy, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Surgical correction is the best treatment for this type of injury in most cases, however, so immediate medical attention by an orthopedic doctor with extensive knowledge in treating distal biceps tendon injuries is strongly advised. The surgical repair of a distal biceps tendon injury involves fastening the damaged tendon back to its anatomical attachment site on the radial tuberosity. The goal of a distal biceps tendon repair is to restore function and strength to the biceps muscles. Dr. Ronak Mukesh Patel, orthopedic elbow doctor, treats patients in Sugar Land, Pearland, and the Houston, Texas area, who have experienced a distal biceps tendon injury and are in need of surgical repair.