Distal Biceps Repair Rehab Protocol

distal biceps tendon rupture picture

elbow cross sectional anatomy

distal biceps tendon repair xray

distal biceps tendon repair xray


Goal: Regain strength and obtain functional range of motion (ROM).

  • Active ROM exercises should be performed with the elbow close to the body to avoid excessive stretch of the reconstructed elbow collateral ligaments.

Phase I  (0 to 3 days)

  • Teach shoulder, wrist and hand ROM exercises
  • Once dressings are removed POD #2, fit with elbow extension brace to be worn when not exercising and at night.
  • Begin active ROM exercises for the elbow once dressings are removed.  Exercise should be done 6 times per day for 15 minutes.

Phase II (4 to 14 days)

  • Continue with ROM exercise of elbow and gradually increase range.

Phase III (2 to 5 weeks)

  • Begin passive ROM exercises to elbow.
  • Functional electrical stimulation (FES) may be begun to stimulate biceps or triceps.

Phase IV (6 to 7 weeks)

  • Discontinue elbow extension splint during the day if elbow stability is adequate.
  • Begin elbow ROM exercise with elbow away from body.

Phase V (8 to 12 weeks)

  • Discontinue elbow extension splint at night.
  • Initiate gradual, gentle strengthening exercises for hand and forearm.  Light resistance may be begun to the elbow.
  • Work on any deficits.