The bicep is a major muscle in the arm which gives us strength when lifting. Rupture of the biceps can occur when the muscle is put under excessive strain – perhaps by lifting a very heavy object. The rupture means that the bicep muscle is detached from the bone at the elbow and pulled up toward the shoulder.
There can sometimes be an audible ”pop” or snapping sensation when the tendon ruptures. Patients will often report an electric shock type sensation in their arm.
After the initial injury patients may notice bruising, feel weakness and later on they may notice a bulge appearing in the upper arm. This is known as the classic “Popeye” sign of a rupture.
Once it has been torn, the biceps tendon cannot mend itself, so urgent surgery is required to fix it.
Referral to an orthopaedic unit (a next day fracture clinic) is required if a doctor or nurse suspects a rupture. Patients should be offered repair within a few days or at most four weeks of the injury.
Any attempt to repair the bicep beyond the 4 week period will not be likely to succeed. A repair surgery undertaken less 4 weeks from the injury have a very good chance of success.
If the arm is not repaired the patient’s strength in that limb will be reduced by 30-40%. Practically all patients who have their bicep repaired in less than 4 weeks return to normal activities.
We have acted in cases where unfortunately GPs, nurses and even of A&E doctors have failed to recognise this condition. Alternatively, they may recognise the injury but they don’t appreciate that an urgent referral is necessary. A non-urgent referral is consequently made and the patient ends up seeing an orthopaedic specialist well outside of the 4 week window of opportunity to repair the injury.
These are serious injuries for those patients. If the repair is not undertaken quickly the effect on a person’s working ability can be very significant. If the dominant arm is affected the damages could be very substantial.
Hodge Jones and Allen have a strong track record of success in these cases. We often work with the same team of experts on these types of cases to ensure success and maximise our client’s compensation.
Our Medical Negligence Solicitors are backed by four decades of experience. Our legal practice and team of London Solicitors have a strong track record of achieving favourable client outcomes. For expert legal advice use our contact form or call us on 0800 437 0322 today.
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