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Bicep Tendon Repair - Is my season over?
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Contributors to this thread:
Gman 19-Jun-20
gobble50 19-Jun-20
DL 19-Jun-20
creed 19-Jun-20
Whitetail Xtreme 19-Jun-20
LKH 19-Jun-20
OFFHNTN 19-Jun-20
Skippy 19-Jun-20
IdyllwildArcher 19-Jun-20
Guardian hunter 19-Jun-20
Aspen Ghost 19-Jun-20
ahunter76 19-Jun-20
4nolz@work 19-Jun-20
4nolz@work 19-Jun-20
Dale06 19-Jun-20
tradi-doerr 19-Jun-20
Nanuke22 19-Jun-20
Jasper 20-Jun-20
PTArcher 20-Jun-20
jstephens61 20-Jun-20
Charlie Rehor 20-Jun-20
HiMtnHnter 20-Jun-20
Dave 20-Jun-20
Grey Ghost 20-Jun-20
Franklin 20-Jun-20
HiMtnHnter 20-Jun-20
Skippy 20-Jun-20
Bou'bound 20-Jun-20
Bou'bound 21-Jun-20
Bradford 21-Jun-20
Bradford 21-Jun-20
Dave 22-Jun-20
Patdel 22-Jun-20
4nolz@work 22-Jun-20
Norseman 22-Jun-20
LBshooter 22-Jun-20
Shawn 22-Jun-20
OFFHNTN 22-Jun-20
Gman 22-Jun-20
From: Gman
19-Jun-20
I had to have my Bicep Tendon reinserted after a 12 year old Plasma TV kicked my butt (arm actually). Surgery was June 5th on my drawing arm.

I'm early 50's and in reasonable shape, usually work out 3x/week with aerobic activity and weights. I shoot a 60lbs. bow that I will happily crank down to 50 lbs to be able to hunt.

What's the likelihood I'll be able to shoot come fall? I'm told it's a 4-6 month recovery. Season starts Oct. 1st in Ohio.

Anyone gone through this before? Or any MDs that can weigh in?

From: gobble50
19-Jun-20
Tore my 5 years ago. Dr. Told me they RARELY do surgery. Had no effect on golf or shooting my bow - still shooting 67#. Bicep looks funny but no problem & I’ll turn 70 in September.

From: DL
19-Jun-20
I tore my bicep tendon in half elk hunting. Found that the only thing the bicep is used for is rotation. I could still shoot my bow but could not raise it from horizontal to vertical position. They had to use a cadaver tendon in reattaching it.

From: creed
19-Jun-20
On April 21, 2017 I went in for rotator cuff surgery and a detached bicep. The rotator cuff was irreparable and the bicep was just cleaned up. I had an AZ unit 8 elk tag for the early Sept hunt and pulled a 60lb bow. Just curious but by them reattaching it I am guessing it is the short head tendon?

19-Jun-20
Yep tore mine 5 years ago and Dr. said surgery was rarely done . No negative effects but a popeye muscle.

From: LKH
19-Jun-20
Did they do s Bicep Tedonisis? That's where they cut your bicep tendon loose, drill a hole in the head of your arm bone, screw the tendon in and cut off the excess.

Had mine done in May and that Sep I killed a big bull and muley with a 63# longbow. Oh, I was 62.

That was after a repair failed when they tried to reattach the part that had started to tear loose.

From: OFFHNTN
19-Jun-20
Yep, last fall, November 4th.........right when my whitetail hunting was going to get serious. We are similar, I was 47 years old, gym rat, workout almost every day, had a tub start to fall into me so I reached out to catch it and SNAP. Complete detach, had surgery 3 days later, and like LKH said they drilled into my forearm bone to reattach it. I didn't even try to draw a bow till about February. I still don't have all of my strength back, and doubt I will, but it's close.....probably 80-90%. I think you should be good by October 1st, but take it easy until September 1st! If you try to do too much too soon.....it could be bad, really bad. Good luck Gman!

From: Skippy
19-Jun-20
Let me get this straight you’re taking medical advice from the guys on bowsite ? What is the surgeons Opinion? Yes, in case you’re wondering I have had that surgery done.

19-Jun-20
How old are you?

19-Jun-20
Be careful. Like the others I did it too. Had surgery. Recovered slowly. Changed to a smooth bow that agreed with me at 52. Listened to my surgeon like he was my hunting guide. You dont want to tear it twice. Take your time and heal. Wishing you well. G

From: Aspen Ghost
19-Jun-20
I imagine you will be working with a physical therapist. Talk to him about your goal. I would think that shooting a bow is something that could be worked into your PT. It might be advantageous to buy a lower poundage bow to start with. You may well get back to 50 lb + by October but starting lower might get you there faster without pushing too hard and having a setback. And if you don't get to 50+ by October a 40 lb modern compound will easily kill any critter in Ohio.

From: ahunter76
19-Jun-20
I tore mine severely years ago. I have a scar from point of shoulder to mid bicep. I was bowhunting Sika Deer in Md with 70#s 40% letoff & had a spike come by. I had to put my bow straight up over my head to pull it & then come down & aim. 25 yd shot & I missed. Arm burned like fire. I had this hunt booked for months & I still had 30 wire staples in my arm when I made that shot. No, Not a smart move. I should have lowered it to 50#s. 3 days later they were removed & Dr said my archery was probably over. He was wrong. I'm starting 64th year of bowhunting & will be 79 in a few months. DON'T do what I did. I did therapy "faithfully" at home (therapist set up my routine). everyone heals differently & do what your Doc says, not a archer.hunter.

From: 4nolz@work
19-Jun-20

4nolz@work's embedded Photo
4nolz@work's embedded Photo
Ruptured mine on bow arm actually shooting a buck.Surgery wasnt recommended except for cosmetic-too much risk of vascular or nerve damage especially if you have big arms.No loss of strength the other 1/2 of the "bi"ceps takes over.Middle age disease.

From: 4nolz@work
19-Jun-20
Tendonosis is for cosmetic purposes my surgeon said

From: Dale06
19-Jun-20
I’m not a doc. Would listen to him/her on your issue. Hope it works out well for you.

From: tradi-doerr
19-Jun-20
I did a complete tear of long-head tendon on left arm/bicep on 01/14/2020, was told no need to reattach due to age(54) and it could cause other issues doing so. Two months of therapy and I'm back shooting my 60# compound and 50# recurve, I also have slight tears in the rotater cuffs that gives me more issues/concerns then the bicep. Take your time and don't rush it. Had me nervous that I wouldn't be able to shoot the bow, thank goodness as I finally drew my Colorado bull moose tag (28yrs to draw), really didn't want to use the rifle. Speedy recover and Best of luck!!

From: Nanuke22
19-Jun-20
I tore mine last year on Father’s Day, it was reattached to the bone, I was shooting a bow by September, I pushed it a bit but I had a moose hunt in October and wasn’t missing it. I did lower my draw weight.

From: Jasper
20-Jun-20
Praying for you Gary!

From: PTArcher
20-Jun-20
It sounds like you tore your biceps at the elbow. Such a tear does require surgery to fix and the 4-6 month recovery you were told is accurate. If that is indeed the case, it doesn't look good for fall archery hunting with a vertical bow. You will be immobilized for 6-8 weeks. Early PT will focus on regaining mobility (always a challenge with this surgery) with gradual progression into light activity and eventual strengthening. Listen to your surgeon and PT. Outcomes are very good, but the process can be frustrating. Best of luck!!

From: jstephens61
20-Jun-20
Had the whole shoulder and bicep done on 5/10/14. Repaired cuff, reshaped bone, repair pec muscle and bicep. Was 52 at the time and was in Colorado on 9/1 chasing elk. It can be done. PT is the key to most any recovery.

20-Jun-20
Google “archeryStrong” guys good at rehabbing archers

From: HiMtnHnter
20-Jun-20
I had distal bicep tendon repair. I was shooting a 60 lb bow within 3 months, 70 lb within a year.

From: Dave
20-Jun-20
Once again, DO NOT listen to the unqualified opinions from a bunch of bowhunters who don't know what they're talking about. Classic example is that 90% of the "advice" on here is from experience with a proximal tear(shoulder) which is an entirely different condition and treatment. There are big differences depending on the location of the tear, age, dominance of the arm, occupation, lifestyle, etc. You did not clarify the location of your tear but based on your mechanism of injury, I'm assuming it's a distal tear. If it's a distal biceps tear(at the elbow) and you elect to have it repaired after discussion of the pros/cons and desires with your surgeon, then yes you are done for the season most likely unless your season runs very late..

From: Grey Ghost
20-Jun-20
Gman,

John Elway tore the bicep tendon in his throwing arm in a preseason game at the age of 37. He did not have surgery. He only missed 2 preseason games due the injury. He went on to have one of his best seasons ever that year. So, I'd say you should be good to go by hunting season.

Good luck,

Matt

From: Franklin
20-Jun-20
Sounds like the OP is looking for personal experience not medical advice....he already had the surgery. Like PTarcher said it sounds like the short head reattached at the elbow. Those are the only ones that "require" surgery. I have torn both long heads and had one reattached but he was doing a rotator cuff at the same time. Strangely he did my right rotator and didn`t reattach the long head?!?

The short head is a far more serious injury and only you, your doctor and your pt/therapist will know the answer. I personally think it`s doable.

From: HiMtnHnter
20-Jun-20
Exactly. I'm sure he'll listen to his doc, but wants real experiences. I tore my distal tendon in April a few years ago, had surgery a week later, mid April. Per my doc, I backed my bow to 60 and was shooting by end of July. I was 40 when it happen, FWIW...

From: Skippy
20-Jun-20
Let me get this straight you’re taking medical advice from the guys on bowsite ? What is the surgeons Opinion? Yes, in case you’re wondering I have had that surgery done.

From: Bou'bound
20-Jun-20
You will be fine. Just take it easy for the next 3-4 weeks. Keep the Advil flowing. Moderate exercise in short sessions every other day. Slowly build up strength through rotational stretching and limited extension under stress. Good luck

From: Bou'bound
21-Jun-20
You will be fine. Just take it easy for the next 3-4 weeks. Keep the Advil flowing. Moderate exercise in short sessions every other day. Slowly build up strength through rotational stretching and limited extension under stress. Good luck

From: Bradford
21-Jun-20
Yea Bou cause your a doctor.

From: Bradford
21-Jun-20
You seem to be an expert on all issues on here.

From: Dave
22-Jun-20
"You will be fine. Just take it easy for the next 3-4 weeks. Keep the Advil flowing. Moderate exercise in short sessions every other day. Slowly build up strength through rotational stretching and limited extension under stress. Good luck "

WOW! Definitely in the running for the most idiotic post of the year. OP, please don't listen to this idiot who clearly knows NOTHING!

From: Patdel
22-Jun-20
I just had mine cut loose from my shoulder because it was tearing my labrum. He drilled some holes in my humerus and reattached it somehow. Trimmed up torn labrum, ground off big bone spur and cleaned up rotator cuff while he was at it. Labrum is gone between 11 and 1 o'clock.

I was told 12 weeks. Right now I can't lift anything heavier than a coffee cup. Mobility PT only.

So anyway, I would think October is a realistic goal. You do have to rely on your Doctor though. Work with him, and stay diligent with your PT.

By the way, I am 48. I hope to be hunting in October as well. I had an elk hunt planned in September, but I've given up on that.

Good luck to you. Dont push it. Listen to doc and your pt.

From: 4nolz@work
22-Jun-20
exactly what my Dr said-no surgery,advil as needed,rest.I ruptured mine shooting a buck in late september,went down to 45# and killed a buck in Iowa first week of November.It was my bow arm which may be different since yours was draw arm-if you had surgery ask your surgeon specifically for recommendations.

From: Norseman
22-Jun-20
Ask for some steroids. :/

From: LBshooter
22-Jun-20
I don't think any bowsiter has the knowledge with a few exceptions on bicep tears, best listen to your doctor/ therapist. However, if you need brain surgery come back here and I'm sure we can help you.

From: Shawn
22-Jun-20
It all depends on your ability to heal, there are fast healers and slow healers. I had a total shoulder replacement April 12 last year. My surgeon said just what I posted above. He said by 16 weeks post op I would be shooting a bow again and how much poundage would depend. Well at 11 weeks post op I was shooting 60#s and my shoulder felt stronger and better than ever. Take your doctors advise and do as he says, and pray you are a fast healers. Shawn

From: OFFHNTN
22-Jun-20
Yeh, don't listen to bou's advice. Listen to the Doc and PT, I wasn't allowed to lift a thing for 8 weeks, then I started with a 2lb dumbbell.

From: Gman
22-Jun-20
All,

Thanks for the comments. Rather than call out specific folks, I wasn't looking for medical advice, but rather experiences on how people faired with the surgery and how quickly they recovered. I understand that everyone is different and heal at different rates. Not my first surgical rodeo, I've had my chest unzipped twice for heart surgeries and a shoulder repair done 8 years ago (torn labrum and tendonesis).

For clarity, it was a distal tear and the repair was recommended by the surgeon, same one who did my shoulder. He's an expert in the field and on the board of one of the major Orthopaedic conferences I used to attend; he refused to do a specific procedure on my shoulder based on risks so I was confident in his recommendation. Google Bicep Button Surgery if you want to see how some distal bicep tendon repairs are done.

I might look at buying 50lb limbs so I can crank down to 40 lbs as was suggested by Aspen Ghost and others. I'll talk to the surgeon about this at some upcoming appointments once we have a better idea of my recovery trajectory.

Thanks for the prayers Jasper. That's the thing that is so cool about this venue. People who don't know me are sending prayers. I very much appreciate it and can use them for many facets of my life.

God Bless Gary

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