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Repairs Of The Biceps And Triceps Tendons


Repair of the biceps (BI-seps) and triceps (TRI-seps) tendons (TEN-dons) is surgery to repair a ruptured (torn) biceps or triceps tendon. Tendons connect muscles to bones, and together with muscles, work to move your arms, legs, fingers, and toes. The biceps and triceps tendons are tendons in the arms. They connect the biceps and triceps muscles to the scapula (shoulder blades) and elbows. A complete or partial rupture of these tendons usually happens after trauma or an injury. The complete tendon rupture may be acute or chronic based on the duration of time from injury. Injuries occurring within four weeks are considered as acute, and after four weeks they are chronic. Distal tendon ruptures (tendon ruptures near the elbow) are injuries that usually need surgery. Sharp pain, tenderness, and swelling over the front or back of the elbow are common signs and symptoms.

During the surgery, the ruptured biceps or triceps tendon is sewn back to the bone. Your caregiver may use special tools, such as buttons and screws, to attach the tendon to the bone. He may also put some holes in the bones to insert the ends of the ruptured tendon. Tendons taken from other parts of the body may also be used to replace damaged tendons. This is usually done for chronic tendon injuries. After surgery you may need a splint or cast to protect the tendon and help it heal. You may need to do special exercises to help build the strength back in your arm. With repair of the biceps and triceps tendons, your regular arm movements may be returned, and normal activities restored.


Take your medicine as directed.

Call your primary healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria.
  • Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
    • Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
    • Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Caring for your cast, splint or brace:

  • Check the skin around the cast, splint, or brace every day. You may put lotion on any red or sore areas.
  • Do not push down or lean on any part of the cast, splint, or brace. It may break.
  • Do not scratch the skin under the cast, splint, or brace by putting a sharp or pointed object down it.
  • If you have a plaster cast, do not let it get wet. When you take a bath or shower, cover the cast with a plastic bag that is taped closed at the top.
  • Move the fingers of your arm several times a day. This will decrease swelling and stiffness.

Eat healthy foods:

Choose healthy foods from all the food groups every day. Include whole-grain bread, cereal, rice, and pasta. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, including dark green and orange vegetables. Include dairy products such as low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. Choose protein sources, such as lean beef and chicken, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts. Ask how many servings of fats, oils, and sweets you should have each day, and if you need to be on a special diet.

Drinking liquids:

Adults should drink about 9 to 13 cups of liquid each day. One cup is 8 ounces. Good choices of liquids for most people include water, juice, and milk. Coffee, soup, and fruit may be counted in your daily liquid amount. Ask your caregiver how much liquid you should drink each day.

Physical therapy:

You may need to see a physical therapist to teach you special exercises. These exercises help improve movement and decrease pain. Physical therapy can also help improve strength and decrease your risk for loss of function.

Your physical therapist may teach you special exercises to do at home. These may be done 6 to 8 weeks after the surgery. Do only the exercises advised by your caregiver and do them only as often as your caregiver suggests. Do not do more than the range of motion exercises advised by your caregiver.


  • Your stitches are swollen, red, or have pus coming from them.
  • You have pain and swelling in your arm that is getting worse.
  • You have questions or concerns about your injury, surgery, or medicine.


  • You have a fever.
  • Your arm, hand, or fingers feels numb, tingly, cool to the touch, or look blue or pale.
  • Your bandage becomes soaked with blood.
  • Your cast or splint breaks, or gets wet and soft.
  • You have chest pain or trouble breathing all of a sudden.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Repairs Of The Biceps And Triceps Tendons (Aftercare Instructions)

Micromedex® Care Notes