close icon



News & Insights

distal biceps rupture injury

Distal Biceps Rupture Treatment & Rehab

Nov 3, 2022

In the latest episode of Overtime, our own, Dr. Ashley Bassett discusses the management of distal biceps tendon rupture, a relatively uncommon injury though one that can have a significant impact on the lives of active individuals and laborers.

If left untreated, a chronic distal biceps rupture is typically painless but has some level of chronic dysfunction, often with supination-based activities (such as twisting a screwdriver). For those whose livelihood depends on staying active, like professional athletes and manual laborers, nonoperative treatment is simply not an option. A distal biceps tendon rupture can reduce the supination strength by as much as 50%, leading to cramping and fatigue with repetitive twisting activities of the forearm. Therefore, nonoperative treatment is often reserved for elderly sedentary individuals and those who are medically unfit to undergo surgery.

Ideally, surgical management should be performed within weeks of injury because a delay in treatment may result in the need for a more extensive surgical approach as a result of chronic tendon retraction and scar tissue at the site of injury. For acute injuries, surgical approach can be subdivided into the single incision technique and the double incision technique.

In the latest episode of Overtime, Dr. Ashley Bassett and Dr. Catherine Logan will compare these two surgical techniques, review the types of complications unique to each approach and discuss postoperative rehab, including when and how to clear patients to return to work and sports. 

This article was reviewed and approved by an orthopedic surgeon as we place a high premium on accuracy for our patients and potential patients.