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Battling a biceps injury
Date:3/3/2010

lexion and forearm supination strength. After two weeks, the tendon tends to scar, making it more difficult to bring the tendon back to its original attachment."

Injuries to the distal biceps tendon most often occur as the result of a single trauma involving lifting or moving heavy weights, and may occur more frequently in patients over the age of 30 years, as well as those who smoke and individuals who take anabolic steroids, Sutton noted.

Because other muscles initially may compensate for some of the loss of function following a trauma, these injuries occasionally can be difficult to detect initially, causing treatment to be delayed in some cases, she said. A detailed medical history is one of the primary components used to detect these injuries. Patients who injure their arm during exercise or other activity should be aware of the following warning signs which may point to an injury of the distal biceps tendon:

  • a "popping" sensation in the arm and bruising around the elbow at the time of injury;
  • a change in the contour or shape of the biceps muscle; and
  • pain and weakness in flexion and supination of the injured arm

Sutton said people can help prevent biceps injuries by:

  • avoiding smoking and anabolic steroid use, which decrease blood flow to the tendon, increasing the likelihood of injury;
  • avoiding lifting heavy weights using a biceps curl; and
  • exercising caution when moving heavy objects, especially in individuals who smoke, take steroids, or are older than 30.

When a biceps injury does occur, Sutton said no matter which surgical technique is used, one of the most important factors in successful treatment is ensuring the surgery is not delayed.

"There are multiple ways to repair the tendon surgically, and the specific technique used is based on the experience of the surgeon and the latest biomechanical studies on strength and stability of various repairs," Sutton said.
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Contact: Lauren L. Pearson
pearson@aaos.org
847-384-4031
American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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