First 2 weeks:
A backslab (splint) is usually applied after surgery, which will be worn for 2 weeks. Keep the backslab dry. Hand exercises and shoulder exercises should still be done during this time. Your first follow-up appointment after surgery is at 2 weeks when a wound inspection will be done.
2 – 6 weeks:
Physiotherapy can be commenced. Keep the arm in a sling during this period to keep the elbow flexed at 90’ during rest. The elbow can be extended gradually as pain allows, aiming to achieve full extension by 6 weeks. Active elbow flexion is allowed at this stage but with no resistance.
In chronic cases where the biceps were repaired under tension, a different protocol may be followed. A hinged elbow brace may be chosen to limit extension initially and then gradually allow more extension every week. The second follow-up visit is at 6 weeks.
6 – 12 weeks:
The sling can be weaned at this stage. Continue gentle stretching exercises if the full extension has not been achieved yet. Gradual strengthening is initiated at 6-8weeks, depending on the quality of the repair. Avoid heavy lifting and placing high loads on the biceps until 12 weeks.
You can start driving at about 6 weeks as long as you feel in control of the car. Another follow-up visit is scheduled at 3 months post-surgery.
After 12 weeks:
The physiotherapist will focus on further strength and endurance training. Rugby players can return to sport at about 4-6 months. Manual laborers will be able to return to normal duty at about 4-6 months.
Need a consultation?
Please contact the practise to arrange a consultation.