Skip to Content

Repairs of the Biceps and Triceps Tendons


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.



  • Pain medicines help decrease pain and swelling.
  • 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 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.

Follow up with your healthcare provider or orthopedist as directed:

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

Cast or splint:

A cast or splint will be placed on your arm. This will protect the tendon and keep it from moving while it heals. Move your fingers several times a day. This will decrease swelling and stiffness. 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 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.

How to bathe with a cast:

You may bathe when your healthcare provider says it is okay. 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.

Wound care:

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.

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.

Contact your healthcare provider or orthopedist if:

  • 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.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have chest pain or sudden shortness of breath.
  • 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.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 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 IBM Watson Health

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.

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 (Discharge Care)

IBM Watson Micromedex