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Repairs of the Biceps and Triceps Tendons

WHAT YOU NEED TO 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.

DISCHARGE INSTRUCTIONS:

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

  • You have chest pain or sudden shortness of breath.

Call your doctor or surgeon if:

  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • Your cast or splint breaks, or gets wet and soft.
  • Your arm, hand, or fingers are numb, tingly, or cold.
  • You have a fever.
  • You have worsening pain and swelling in your arm or hand.
  • Your wound is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Medicines:

You may need any of the following:

  • NSAIDs , such as ibuprofen, help decrease swelling, pain, and fever. NSAIDs can cause stomach bleeding or kidney problems in certain people. If you take blood thinner medicine, always ask your healthcare provider if NSAIDs are safe for you. Always read the medicine label and follow directions.
  • Prescription pain medicine may be given. Ask your healthcare provider how to take this medicine safely. Some prescription pain medicines contain acetaminophen. Do not take other medicines that contain acetaminophen without talking to your healthcare provider. Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage. Prescription pain medicine may cause constipation. Ask your healthcare provider how to prevent or treat constipation.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her 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.

Care for your wound as directed:

Keep the bandage clean and dry. If you have medical tape on your incision, do not pull it off. The tape will fall off on its own. Carefully wash the wound with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages when they get wet or dirty.

Cast or splint care:

  • Check the skin around the cast or splint every day. Move your fingers several times a day. This will decrease swelling and stiffness. You may put lotion on any red or sore areas. Do not push down or lean on any part of the cast or splint, because it may break. Do not scratch the skin under the cast or splint by putting a sharp or pointed object down it.
  • When you are allowed to bathe, do not get the cast wet. Cover the cast with 2 plastic trash bags. Tape the bags to your skin above the cast to keep it dry. Hold your arm out of the water as much as possible. Dry the cast with a hair dryer set on low or no heat if it gets wet.

Go to physical therapy:

A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain. These may be done 6 to 8 weeks after the surgery.

Follow up with your doctor or surgeon as directed:

You may need to return to have your wound checked and stitches removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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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.

Learn more about Repairs of the Biceps and Triceps Tendons (Discharge Care)

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Further information

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