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Biceps tendon tear from 2.5 years ago

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fasttwitch

VIP Member
Mar 17, 2011
12
1
#1
Hey gents. As a few of you I know from other boards know, I snapped the left biceps tendon at the elbow a couple years ago. I went to a well respected surgeon here in town. An older military doctor who also works on the local high school football team and who's a power lifter himself. Typical injury from what the doc said, middle aged guy (45yrs old at the time) lifting a large amount of weight (an air compressor) with the arm extended while lifting. He said it rarely happened with the arm curled. So the surgery went well, he said. Although the night after the surgery I thought I heard a light popping sound while shifting the arm. A couple days later he x-ray'ed the arm and said the tendon was still firmly anchored to the bone. Hook test on the tendon showed it still attached. Nothing to worry about, he said. I moved forward with rehab for three months. 3 months went by and I started to hit the gym, but took it really slow with any pulling exercises. A bummer too since my favorite day is back/biceps day. Love rows and pull downs. I did slowly increase the weight on them but took it really easy (still do) with the concentration curls.

I've been slowly adding weight now for 2.5 yrs. I'm still nowhere near the weight I used to lift. The bicep still looks small compared to the other. The doc said fairly recently "it's just some atrophy." I was thinking, now wait a second. 2.5 yrs later it's atrophy? So I lifted weights for 20 yrs and then didn't lift for 3 months after the injury and the muscle vanished 50%? Now it;s 2.5 yrs later and the arm is noticeably smaller still? hard to wrap my mind around.

Some times too I go to grab something and the bicep starts to cramp like crazy. Also, if I have my arm flexed to hard, it cramps like crazy. It doesn't do it with the arm extended, only with the bicep curled. And the appearance of the bicep is not right. When I extend both arms and tighten up the bicep and then supinate and then pronate the arm the repaired bicep doesn't move as much. Also, it doesn't look like it goes as close to the elbow as the other.

I ran into a friend who's a back surgeon and showed him. He thinks that maybe one of the biceps heads tore. but he's not sure. He did the hook test and said the bicep tendon is definitely still anchored, but that it seems to be lying flatter against the elbow and it seems less reactive to supination. He can feel it tighten up but it's not rising up like the healthy arm.

Kind of a strange issue. I was wondering if any of you guys had heard of bicep surgeries that had gone like this? Or not as expected?

Thanks guys.
 
SAD

SAD

TID Board Of Directors
Feb 3, 2011
2,991
1,131
#2
Had my right bicep reattached last October. Cut me open on the forearm, pulled my tendons down and anchored them. Exactly as you described, it doesn’t move as much, doesn’t extend as far, looks smaller and different shape, and he says that’s just how reattachments go most of the time, but I should have full strength back soon. Overall, I’m not terribly unhappy, but with it looked more normal.
 
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fasttwitch

VIP Member
Mar 17, 2011
12
1
#3
Had my right bicep reattached last October. Cut me open on the forearm, pulled my tendons down and anchored them. Exactly as you described, it doesn’t move as much, doesn’t extend as far, looks smaller and different shape, and he says that’s just how reattachments go most of the time, but I should have full strength back soon. Overall, I’m not terribly unhappy, but with it looked more normal.
I'm not alone then. Thanks for the input. I guess I'll just focus on the dumbbells so I work it at different angles.

Getting older is a bitch. :)
 
hawkeye

hawkeye

MuscleHead
Sep 19, 2011
2,765
566
#4
What you described is exactly what i have experienced. The twinges and the craps upon contraction. Event he atrophy in contrast to my other arm. Now I did have a bicep tear along with the tendon rupture. My ROM is also less and much different than my good arm. I am constantly attempting to keep the ROM as good as I can get it. It has been a game changer for training. I don't have the confidence to train like I used to. I'm fairly frustrated how the whole procedure turned out, but again maybe this was the best case scenario. IDK.

Just out of curiosity, is your scar fairly lengthy or is it shorter. I bet mine is a good 10 inches. Some brothers I have talked to have only a 4-6 inch incision. The surgeon that did my procedure is very reputable and is well known. I guess it just frustrated me because it has essentially cut short a lot of my plans for competing. I'm lucky that I played college baseball and still play at a high level and that currently has filled the void of powerlifting. I'm still hoping that time will allow me to come back and get back in the game. Guess we will see.
 
ValeTudo8080

ValeTudo8080

VIP Member
Aug 31, 2011
349
86
#5
i ruptured my left tendon at work about 6 years ago.

i have the same surgery and have only a 2 inch scar....the doc was an expert at using his pinky to grab the tendon and pull it back down in place......many guys have the huge scar.

As far as range of motion i have a popping noise in my forearm from elbow to my wrist daily.

it is supposedly from scar tissue growing over the tendon where it was reattached....so when the wrist turns over there is some friction and loss of range motion.

i lost some size but was able to gain most back and strength is fine as well.

so i guess everyine is different.....keep up the rehab movements because that is the key to getting everything back to normal
 
S

searay

VIP Member
Dec 20, 2017
145
77
#6
when I get muscle cramps I rub some salonpas on the area and prob solved. you can get it in gel, cream, and patches. I prefer the gel as it dries quick and soaks in fast.
 
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