Distal Biceps Ruptures

Video Transcription

Hi there, I’m Chris O’Grady. I wanted to talk to you today briefly about distal biceps ruptures. A distal biceps rupture is not a subtle thing. When it happens to you, you know it. It generally happens when somebody… Usually somebody 35 or older carrying something heavy, and all of a sudden there’s a pop in your elbow. A lot of people will even say they can feel the tendon just kind of retract. It’s very painful. It generally turns black and blue almost immediately. Then it kind of stops hurting. The important thing to understand is that there are other muscles that flex your elbow. You don’t lose the ability to flex your elbow, it may be somewhat confusing trying to figure out why you can still do that if there’s no biceps tendon attached. Your biceps muscle primarily both flexes and also what we call supinates the forearm. It’s very important functionally for things that we do with our hands and wrists.

If you don’t have a distal biceps you’re going to lose about 50% of your ability to do that, and upwards of 40% of your ability to flex your elbow. For a young, active, healthy person that’s unacceptable. It’s very easily attached surgically. It’s something that has a very high success rate. Once it’s healed you have very little recurrence rate of it popping again. But what’s important to understand is that it’s really a very straightforward process, if you can get to this injury early. And by early, I mean within a week or two. Once you get outside three or four weeks from this injury, it starts to scar in to the vessels and nerves in the elbow, and it can get a little bit more dicey in terms of the surgical risk. If you think you have this injury, I would not delay a trip to the orthopedic surgeon, or at least a sports medicine doctor, who can take a look and give you the correct diagnosis. If it is in fact ruptured, I’d again encourage you to seek the treatment from a orthopedic surgeon as soon as you can. Thank you very much.

Distal Biceps Ruptures

Video Transcription

Hi there, I’m Chris O’Grady. I wanted to talk to you today briefly about distal biceps ruptures. A distal biceps rupture is not a subtle thing. When it happens to you, you know it. It generally happens when somebody… Usually somebody 35 or older carrying something heavy, and all of a sudden there’s a pop in your elbow. A lot of people will even say they can feel the tendon just kind of retract. It’s very painful. It generally turns black and blue almost immediately. Then it kind of stops hurting. The important thing to understand is that there are other muscles that flex your elbow. You don’t lose the ability to flex your elbow, it may be somewhat confusing trying to figure out why you can still do that if there’s no biceps tendon attached. Your biceps muscle primarily both flexes and also what we call supinates the forearm. It’s very important functionally for things that we do with our hands and wrists.

If you don’t have a distal biceps you’re going to lose about 50% of your ability to do that, and upwards of 40% of your ability to flex your elbow. For a young, active, healthy person that’s unacceptable. It’s very easily attached surgically. It’s something that has a very high success rate. Once it’s healed you have very little recurrence rate of it popping again. But what’s important to understand is that it’s really a very straightforward process, if you can get to this injury early. And by early, I mean within a week or two. Once you get outside three or four weeks from this injury, it starts to scar in to the vessels and nerves in the elbow, and it can get a little bit more dicey in terms of the surgical risk. If you think you have this injury, I would not delay a trip to the orthopedic surgeon, or at least a sports medicine doctor, who can take a look and give you the correct diagnosis. If it is in fact ruptured, I’d again encourage you to seek the treatment from a orthopedic surgeon as soon as you can. Thank you very much.