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Repairs of the Biceps and Triceps Tendons

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Mar 5, 2023.


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.


The week before your surgery:

  • Arrange to have someone drive you home after surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about all medicines you currently take. He or she will tell you if you need to stop any medicine before surgery, and when to stop. He or she will tell you which medicines to take or not take on the day of surgery.
  • Tell your surgeon about all your allergies. Include medicines, antibiotics, and anesthesia.
  • You may need blood tests, an EKG, or chest x-ray before your surgery. Write down the date, time, and location for each test.

The night before your surgery:

You may be told not to eat or drink anything after midnight.

The day of your surgery:

  • Take only the medicines your surgeon told you to take.
  • Healthcare providers may insert an intravenous tube (IV) into your vein. A vein in the arm is usually chosen. You may be given liquids or medicine through the IV.
  • 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 healthcare providers if you or anyone in your family has had a problem with anesthesia in the past.
  • You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives healthcare providers 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.


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 surgeon will attach the tendon to the bone with screws or other hardware. 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. Healthcare providers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your healthcare provider says it is okay. When your healthcare provider sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home or be taken to your hospital room.


  • 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.


You may bleed more than expected or develop an infection. 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.

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 healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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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.

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