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  1. #1
    Pump junky Charger's Avatar
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    partially torn distal biceps tendon

    I don't expect most of you to remember me but I have been around for awhile. I recently had a major set back with a torn tendon. I was lucky in that it was only a partial tear. Anyone have any advice or comments on a partially torn distal biceps tendon? I am really bummed and will listen to any comments.

    Looking for rehab tips, advice??
    starting over!!!!!!!!!!
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  2. #2
    Pump junky Charger's Avatar
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    no one? no replies??
    starting over!!!!!!!!!!
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  3. #3
    Ground Pounder ScottMd's Avatar
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    Hi charger,

    I'm suffering from pain in my distal bicep tendon too. I'm not sure to what extent I have damaged it .... tendenosis? ... partial tear?

    Anyway, I've just started researching the issue and came across your (empty) thread, and thought I would post.
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    Pump junky Charger's Avatar
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    My adivice is have it checked out by someone who has a sports medicine background. I did and it may have saved me tearing it completely which would have set me back at least 6 months not including rehap, so more like a year and then you never get it all back.

    My Doc explained since we handle heavy weights, that since it did turn out to be a partial tear, if ignored I could have torn it worse or in two if I tried to work through the pain which really wasn't possible. It hurt like He!! when I did it and really didn't allow me to do much for the first 2 weeks.

    I have lost track of time but I am still not 100%. Have it checked out, and most likely you will be ask to have a MRI which is the only way to be sure if it is a tear. Most likely if you are asking it is more than tendonidus.

    Here is one I just learned, not related. If you are on cholestoral medicine, and you drink alcohol, you can get pretty severe joint pain as a result.
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  5. #5
    Ground Pounder ScottMd's Avatar
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    Thanks Charger,

    And I have since discovered your other thread, as well as others on the topic. And have been reading those.

    If I do have a partial tear, it would be more in the middle of my tendon close to the bicep, not at the bone insertion point. I haven't noticed any inflamation, so I'm hoping its just the tendonosis.

    I've been dropping all exercises from my routine that irritate it, which for me includes my rows as well as any curling motion. And I've reduced my weight slightly on my shrugs as well.

    I initially damaged it doing an unusual wrist twisting exercise where I was rotating my forearm outwardly, basically rotating the thumb upwards and outwards from a midline paralell position. As opposed to 'catching' a heavy weight.
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    Ground Pounder ScottMd's Avatar
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    To be a little more clear, I was trying to mimick the motion of a carpenter turning a screwdriver.
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  7. #7
    Ground Pounder ScottMd's Avatar
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    One of the interesting things I read was that antibiotics and I believe even anti inflammatory medication can rob your body of sulphur which apparently the tendons need. And I was on penicillin for a tooth infection for a week, a few weeks before I damaged it. And they did also say that this 'weakening' of the tendon from antibiotics can be residual, lasting for several months.
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    Pump junky Charger's Avatar
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    Scott MD
    trust me, if you tore it, you would know. Very Sharp pain and you should have also heard a pop. The pop is what tipped my MD off to what I had done.

    Either way, the only solution is to give it a break and I mean months. Not saying you cant' do anything but once a real Doc releases you to lift again, you need to do some serious light weight and more slow controlled reps.

    Today was the best arm day I have had since the injury. 30 lbs dumbbell curls for 12 reps, woo who!! sounds wimpy but I used to do double that and was down to a rubber strap not long ago.

    Wish you the best of luck! If you are unsure at all, see a Doc who knows there stuff and have a MRI!!!
    starting over!!!!!!!!!!
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  9. #9
    Ground Pounder ScottMd's Avatar
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    Alright Charger,

    And yes, its quite depressing not being able to do curls, and work the bi's. I'm glad to hear you're making progress.

    I'm going to try resting the muscle for a while. If that doesn't solve the issue, I will go for the MRI. But after what I've read so far, I don't think I tore it ... just strained it.

    Here's an interesting article that mentions up to 16 weeks to heal ...

    http://en.allexperts.com/q/Physical-...tal-biceps.htm
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  10. #10
    Registered User super_power's Avatar
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    how significant is the tear? (stage)

    when did it happen?

    have you rehab at all yet or had surgery for it?

    if you have gotten an MRI what did it say, specifically?

    i am a physical therapist with a significant ortho back ground...with these pieces to the puzzle, maybe i can help you out.
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    hey super power, I have had a chronic inflamation of some sort for a year now. its in my bicep where it connects to my elbow, the doc i saw only advised me to stay away from lifting anything heavy, i have only taken anti inflamatory tablet courses a couple of times... but there is no use! its not getting any better I have my MRI on a CD. If i am able to send it to you can you help?
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    Registered User super_power's Avatar
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    i would suggest trying to get a prescription to see a physical therapist. he can do some cross friction massage to the bicep insertion and some pulsed ultrasound also. if the doctor gave you a "results" section with your MRI just tell me what that says. aside from a complete rupture i dont think i would be able to see anything on an MRI. my father had a complete rupture of his bicep and has recovered pretty well after his surgery. although he is done with PT he still has a 25% strength loss and since the surgery involves cutting away the frayed part of the tendon, the bicep is now shorter. plus he still has some residual pain. the thing with a partial tear is that if you dont completely rest it than it will only get worse. you can do some cross friction massage at home...although it hurts like hell. put your thumb on the sore spot, push down and go side to side over the tendon for about 5 minutes...then ice immediately after to help the inflammation go down. also remember that the bicep supinates the wrist also so try and take it easy on that motion as well.

    sub maximal isometrics is a good place to start with exercise again. and i mean very submax like a 5-8lb dumbell. flex the elbow all the way and hold for a 10 count, drop it down a little bit and hold for another ten. should take you 5 "drops" to get all the way straight. the isometric hold helps to realign the fibers as they heal. again i would speak to a PT and your MD first, but if your stubborn like i am than this is the way to go. if you try the isometrics let me know how they feel
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  13. #13
    Tao of Iron wild1poet2's Avatar
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    I partially tore my right distal bicep tendon a few years ago while pulling out tree stumps.

    First and foremost is find an orthopedic surgeon who has experience with distal bicep tendon repairs. Many do not.

    Next, you need to give it some time for the inflammation to abate so you can assess the degree of the tear. If it is not severe you may be able to avoid surgery. If it is severe enough to limit use of the arm then you may want to consider surgery. Once the inflamation calms down test the arm and see if you are limited. Can you deadlift? Pull up? Curl? Can you rotate the forearm, such as when turning a doorknob?

    I recently re-injured mine in the winter(running with a grocery cart in the snow). LOL I was scheduled for repair surgery in April but have once again postponed it.

    I am able to do relatively heavy deadlifts(5x5's @ 325#) and weighted pull ups and even chin ups. So I'm able to train around it. I just cannot do heavy curls or preacher curls. My biceps aren't like they were but I still have decent size. So I've opted to wait. Mainly because it would take me 9 months to rehab back to where I am right now. My doc says I can go all out and if it tears then we'll re-attach it. If I opt for the surgery he has to cut it anyways before re-attaching it.

    With a complete tear you do not have the option of waiting because the tendon and muscle will atrophy quickly and the surgeon will be unable to stretch it back down to re-attach it.

    If I did not have a good surgeon I would be nervous about continuing to work out. He's done over 300 of these procedures and lectures on the technique.

    A friend completely tore his distal bicep tendon three weeks ago moving a rock in his yard. He had the surgery two days later. His surgeon repaired both of Teddy Johnson's bicep tears when Teddy was with the Patriots. Anyways, my friend is still in his cast and should be getting it off soon and go into a range of motion limiting ratchet brace. Then followed by PT.

    A torn distal bicep tendon will not heal back to original strength. It heals but will have compromised strength and be prone to tendonitis flare ups. One of the guys I met in the docs waiting room had to have surgery for his partial tear because he couldn't even pick up a quart of milk without pain. His tear was severe enough to show on an MRI.

    Sorry for the long post and I hope it's helpful.
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    Ground Pounder ScottMd's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing Wildpoet. Did you tear it at the bone insertion point? ... and did you re-injure it at the same location?
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    Pump junky Charger's Avatar
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    super_power how significant is the tear? (stage)

    when did it happen?

    have you rehab at all yet or had surgery for it?

    if you have gotten an MRI what did it say, specifically?

    i am a physical therapist with a significant ortho back ground...with these pieces to the puzzle, maybe i can help you out.

    I cannot give all that info, in fact all I got from my Doc who I trust is that it was not serious enough to have surgery, or that he did not recommend it since it was a minor tear, Not to sound like a baby or nothing but if that was minor, I would hate to feel major! I couldn't do anything that involving a pulling motion for the first 3-4 days without extreme pain. 3 weeks after I tried to do a pull up, wrong!!! That was when I realized I needed to take the Docs advice and take 6 weeks off> Even after that, I could only do 20lb dbl curls with that arm, any more caused some pretty good pain.

    I am glad to say now I am making better steps to recovery and see light at the end of the tunnel. I did some rehab, not enough but that was my choice. The ultra sound did really help!!

    The strange thing is not that I am regaining strength slowly, I notice my motion is different than my other arm? Maybe it is still because my once dominant arm is now the weak arm? I did curls with 35's last week with no pain, woo hoo!! slow but steady and maybe I get some guns back!! They were never real big anyway, 17.5 max but better than just over 16. Still not bad considering.

    The last comment has nothing to do with my arm but a observation for all us older lifters. I am a true believer in volume. If any of you remember me from the past, I was the GVT threat starter and preached volume. After this last injury my training has really dropped off and I'll be darned if my legs don't look bigger. No measurements but maybe the increase in rest actually aided recovery/growth? Surely not, LOL

    By the way, I was lucky to find a small town Doc who actually was a Ortho in England before coming to the US. He is now a internest and did not renew his Ortho licsense but knows his stuff.
    Last edited by Charger; 06-03-2008 at 12:36 PM.
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    Registered User chisox014's Avatar
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    Torn Biceps Tendon

    I had an extensive partial tear that occurred about 8 weeks ago. I had an MRI to confirm. I saw an Ortho Surgeon who said that surgery could be done but was not necessary. I am currently trying to rehab it on my own with light weights and high reps. I am curious about the decisions to have and not have the surgery. The benefits to me did not come close to outweighing the risks and the rehab time seems to be about the same. I would like to hear others thoughts on rehabbing this injury and electing to have or not have the surgery.
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    Ground Pounder ScottMd's Avatar
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    Charger, maybe you're motion is different because the damaged tendon is now shorter, or longer?

    I've never tried GVT, but for me as a hard gainer, switching to longer rest periods, greatly improved my results. I now train different muslce groups only once every 7 days.

    Chisox, I think a 6-8 week total rest period is a good idea before restarting your training with low weights/high reps. I think you're smart to avoid surgery. From what I've read, they have to completely cut the tendon first, to repair it.
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    Update: Well, I've still been trying to rest my tendon. But its difficult to give it complete rest. I'm STILL experiencing pain and soreness in the tendon even tho its not a true tear.

    Several months ago, I strained my the tendons near my ankles doing calf raises. I completely rested them for 2 months before starting back with high rep/low weight exercise. That has worked out very well for me. I can only hope I achieve the same success with my bicep tendon.
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    Registered User srcamm's Avatar
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    What exercises can we continue to do

    For thos ewho have had tear or partial tear of the distal bicep, I know the cold hard fact of not working any arm or pulling exercise that draws from the affected area, but, what can we continue to do. Chest, shoulders, legs core etc.
    Easy is not an option...
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    Originally Posted by srcamm View Post
    For thos ewho have had tear or partial tear of the distal bicep, I know the cold hard fact of not working any arm or pulling exercise that draws from the affected area, but, what can we continue to do. Chest, shoulders, legs core etc.
    The only thing I could do with distal bicep tendon issues that didn't cause pain were triceps and legs. Any pulling exercise would stress it and it would hurt bad when benching heavy weight. basically, the heavier the weight, the more it would hurt.

    This injury sucks bad. And yeah I know this is an old thread.
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    Registered User AnarkyLost's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LOOT310 View Post
    The only thing I could do with distal bicep tendon issues that didn't cause pain were triceps and legs. Any pulling exercise would stress it and it would hurt bad when benching heavy weight. basically, the heavier the weight, the more it would hurt.

    This injury sucks bad. And yeah I know this is an old thread.
    Personally I wouldnt do any upper body exercises for at least 2 months b/c while you may not use your bicep in alot of them it does act as a stabilizer and hence gets some indirect work.
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    partial distal tear

    [QUOTE=wild1poet2;172446411]

    Listen, I went through the same situation like you did. But I can't afford to get injured from time to time and take weeks off. Now I have decided to go for the surgery and can't wait for it. also, I still can do pull ups chinups, 315 barbell row, 405 deadlift, curls etc. Get the surgery done, there is no way out of it. its nothing but a peanut.
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    lol thread is like 3 years old
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    If u have a uti, pneumonia, or gonorrhea, and the dr gives you a Quinolone(any medicines generic name that ends in -xacin), tell your dr, that you workout and you don't want to get tendinitis or tendon rupture.
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    Registered User AdamCClark's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by zan986 View Post
    If u have a uti, pneumonia, or gonorrhea, and the dr gives you a Quinolone(any medicines generic name that ends in -xacin), tell your dr, that you workout and you don't want to get tendinitis or tendon rupture.
    What's the evidence or reference for this side effect on tendons?
    I'd like to read more about it...
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