Repairs Of The Biceps And Triceps Tendons

What you should know

Repair of the biceps and triceps tendons is surgery to repair a torn biceps or triceps tendon in your upper arm. Tendons connect muscles to bones and help your limbs move. A partial or full tear usually happens after an injury.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Risks

You could get an infection or bleed more than expected. Your blood vessels, nerves, or muscles may be damaged. Your arm, forearm, hand, or fingers may become stiff, numb, and weak. Your arm movement may not go back to the way it was before surgery. Without treatment, your pain and arm movement will get worse. You will have trouble doing your usual activities.

Getting Ready

The week before your surgery:

  • Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.

  • Arrange a ride home. Ask a family member or friend to drive you home after your surgery or procedure. Do not drive yourself home.

  • Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.

  • Bring your medicine bottles or a list of your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine. Tell your caregiver if you use any herbs, food supplements, or over-the-counter medicine.

  • You may need blood tests, an EKG, or chest x-ray before your surgery. Talk to your caregiver about these or other tests you may need. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

The night before your surgery:

Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.

The day of your surgery:

  • Ask your caregiver before you take any medicine on the day of your surgery. Bring a list of all the medicines you take, or your pill bottles, with you to the hospital. Caregivers will check that your medicines will not interact poorly with the medicine you need for surgery.

  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.

  • Caregivers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. Through the IV tube, you may be given liquids and medicine.

  • An anesthesiologist will talk to you before your surgery. You may need medicine to keep you asleep or numb an area of your body during surgery. Tell caregivers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.

Treatment

What will happen:

  • In a biceps repair, an incision will be made over the front of the elbow. Another incision may be made on the back of the elbow. Your caregiver will attach the tendon back to the bone with screws, or buttons. In a triceps tendons repair, an incision will be made on the back of the elbow. Holes will be drilled in the end of the forearm bone near your elbow. The ends of the tendon will be inserted through the holes and tied with stitches.

  • A piece of tendon or tissue from another part of your body may be needed. This is done to make the shortened tendon longer so it reaches the bone where it will be attached. The incisions will then be closed with stitches or medical tape and covered with bandages. A cast or splint will be placed on the elbow. This will protect the tendon and keep it from moving while it heals.

After your surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.

Contact a caregiver if

  • You cannot make it to your surgery.

  • You have a fever.

  • You get a cold or the flu.

  • You have questions or concerns about your surgery.

Seek Care Immediately if

  • Your symptoms get worse.

© 2014 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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