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Athletic Training

Biceps tear

11/06/2008

Question:

My Husband tore his bicep tendon in january, he had surgery on it and it healed, so we thought. Yesterday my husband thinks he might have tore it again, just not all the way...he won`t go to the doctor because we have no insurance, so we want to know if muscle grows back together on it`s own? or must he go see the doctor? keep in mind that we don`t have healthcare- so whatever we can do to help it heal on it`s own, we want that. Thank You

Answer:

I'm sorry to hear of his reinjury. Unfortunately, in a small percentage of cases that may occur. Muscle tears typically have the ability to grow back together provided it is not a complete tear.

A muscle tendon tear, which is probably what your husband sustained, has limited ability to grow back together if it is a partial tear and minimal to no ability if it is a complete rupture. There are other muscles that can help to contribute to moving the elbow to assist the biceps muscle in bending the elbow. It's hard to guess at the extent of the injury since you didn't discuss his functional limitations.

Not having insurance does compound your problem because a visit to your physician who did his first repair would be helpful to determine the extent of his injury and make a recommendation as to his treatment options. He may say that surgery would not be recommended and give him some exercises to do to facilitate his recovery. Surgery is not always recommended in these cases.

The other question would be: Is this injury limiting his ability to do his job The impact that has on you financially may help to guide you in making a better decision. Good Luck and I hope his injury improves.

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Response by:

Janine   Oman, MS, PT/ATC Janine Oman, MS, PT/ATC
Assistant Athletic Director
Instructor at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University