6 Months Since Bicep Surgery

Biceps brachii - Muscles of the Upper Extremity Visual Atlas, page 46

Hardly seems possible, but with the snow falling outside I realized that tomorrow marks 6 months since my bicep tenodesis surgery. Here is a short update on where I am.

I had the surgery after more than a year of physical therapy that provided little relief to the pain and limited mobility I was experiencing in my right arm. I am not sure how I injured it in the first place but I am willing to guess that there was a dumbbell bench press somewhere along the way that did not go right. I reached the point early last summer where I knew it was not going to get better and, in fact, I was finding it harder to use my right arm and having difficulty sleeping from the pain at night.

The surgery was done by Dr. James Rosneck of the sports medicine department at the Cleveland Clinic; it was done outpatient at the sports medicine facility. Previous posts talk about my progress during the first week, two weeks, month, etc. My main complaint after the surgery was the continuing discomfort. It was not until about a month ago that I really began to sense that the surgery was worth it. I am almost pain-free; every once in a while, I get a twinge when turning my arm a certain way. I have returned to lifting heavier weights. I am no longer feeling like the injury and subsequent repair are in any way impairing my ability to do my work–especially teaching my fitness classes. I am still careful, and in the coming months I expect the improvements to continue.

My words of advice to those considering this bicep repair surgery: recovery will take longer than you think. The timeline given to me before surgery was not so accurate (is it ever?); I was able to get back to work in a week (although limited) and was back in the gym a week later. In terms of feeling “back to normal,” however, it was more like 5 months. Consider the risks and the benefits and make the decision that fits for you and your doctor.

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