Biceps Rupture Follow-up

Updated: Apr 10, 2018
  • Author: Gary L Branch, DO; Chief Editor: Milton J Klein, DO, MBA  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

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  • Patients with biceps rupture, whether treated conservatively or with surgical repair, frequently are referred to outpatient facilities for physical or occupational therapy. (See Occupational Therapy.)

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Further Inpatient Care

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  • Patients with biceps rupture, especially those who have been hospitalized for repair, rarely need inpatient rehabilitation.

  • Without adequate social support, the presence of other functional impairments or medical comorbidities may necessitate admission for compensatory strategies and/or adaptive equipment training.

  • Following admission, these patients should progress much like their counterparts with outpatient or in-home therapy.

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Deterrence

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  • The pathophysiology of biceps rupture often is intimately related to chronic irritation, inflammation, and impingement; therefore, patients can best prevent ruptures by avoiding repetitive maneuvers and activities that predispose to tendinitis, bursitis, and rotator cuff injuries. [14, 15]

  • The avoidance of falls in which direct trauma to the muscle or tendon occurs and the reduction of incidents of rapid, heavy loading of the muscle (especially with the elbow flexed and the forearm supinated) also may be helpful in decreasing the likelihood of rupture.

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Complications

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  • Possible surgical complications

  • Contractures due to excessive immobilization

  • Heterotopic ossification [36]

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Prognosis

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  • The overall prognosis for biceps tendon ruptures is good for surgical repair and for conservative management. Both approaches generally result in adequate functional return to the performance of ADL, as well as to most vocational and recreational pursuits.

  • Strength deficits existing before and after repair vary.

  • Factors such as comorbid disorders, concomitant injuries, age, and time since rupture may affect eventual functional level outcomes.

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Patient Education

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  • Educate patients on the importance of stretching in preparation for athletic or exertional activities and on the need to provide proper care of resultant injuries.

  • Warn patients that long-term or frequent steroid injections may weaken local tendons in the region of the injection.

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