Woodworking Injuries #1: Broken tendon, .....that's tendon, not tenon

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Blog entry by Bob A in NJ posted 04-02-2008 11:02 AM 3734 reads 0 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Well, I have to admit this is a new one for me. I’m in the final steps of completing my version of the new fangled workbench and was moving the top, back and forth over the leg assembly. It’s 2’ x 4’ x 2” thick with a 50 pound Craftsman woodworking vise on one end. Weighs about 125 lbs. Never actually picked it up , just moving, flipping it top to bottom, so I could get to the bottom and fit it to the leg assembly base.

Well, low and behold,, I hear a giant BOING sounds from my left elbow. Felt like a 110 volt shock. The arm went weak and I called it a night.

Turns out, I ruptured my bicep tendon, the tendon that connects my muscle to my elbow. Completely snapped like a broken rubber band. Apparently very common for guys between 40 and 60 (I’m 52). The Dr said he never see’s this type of injury with women, I guess the ladies are not stupid enough to move anything so darn heavy. So, at 52, I’ve blown a gasket!. Didn’t even know this could happen. The surgery is later today. 2 weeks in a sling then up to 8 weeks of physical therapy.

Hey older jocks, be careful in the shop. I thought this was heavy but not THAT heavy. Get some help moving stuff

The bench turned out pretty nice , will post this within a week or two.

Later, Bob

-- Bob A in NJ

24 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5113 days

#1 posted 04-02-2008 11:47 AM


You have deepest sympathies. Man that is a bummer. A lot of us are guilty of not asking for help in situations like this and insisting on going it alone rather than inconveniencing someone else. We tend to ignore the fact that we just aren’t as resilient as we were 30 years ago. One of the jocks spoke volumes about this the other day when he commented about his age to me and stated that “getting old sucks”.

Anyway I hope your surgery goes fine and that you will be back making sawdust after your therapy is complete.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5451 days

#2 posted 04-02-2008 12:35 PM

best of luck with the surgery and a speedy recovery. I keep hearing that sound or what I imagine it sounded like.. eww

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 5165 days

#3 posted 04-02-2008 01:05 PM

My prayers for successful surgery and a swift, complete recovery.

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 5064 days

#4 posted 04-02-2008 02:12 PM

God luck on the surgery. My thoughts and prayers go out to you.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Jon Spelbring's profile

Jon Spelbring

200 posts in 5544 days

#5 posted 04-02-2008 04:02 PM

I hope the surgery goes well, and wish you a speedy recovery.

I think I’m hanging out here too much though. When I first scanned the entry, I read it as
“Woodworking injuries #1 – Broken tenon.” I was wondering how much damage a tenon could really do :-)

-- To do is to be

View DannyBoy's profile


521 posts in 5156 days

#6 posted 04-02-2008 04:05 PM

My dad has had that happen to him… Surprisingly, only once. It’s painful. Hope you get back in the shop real soon!

-- He said wood...

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5590 days

#7 posted 04-02-2008 04:15 PM

I’m sorry this had to happen to you. I wish you a rapid recovery.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5279 days

#8 posted 04-02-2008 04:40 PM

I just turned 50 so I better watch out. Hope you get better soon.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Will Mego's profile

Will Mego

307 posts in 5003 days

#9 posted 04-02-2008 05:36 PM

There was a guy at my fencing club who did something like this, but the bicep rolled up like an old window shade, and all this happened during the night, while asleep! When he woke up, his bicep had crawled inches up towards the shoulder, and rolled under itself, so while it now was about half as wide or long as it was before, it was twice as tall, as though he had suddenly developed a huge muscle during the night. Pretty freaky looking. In his case, no pain, however. It’s a very recoverable surgery though, so as long as you take care of it, and rehab it properly, it should work out just fine.

-- "That which has in itself the greatest use, possesses the greatest beauty." -

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5354 days

#10 posted 04-02-2008 05:56 PM

Best wishes for a flawless surgery and a rapid recovery.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14192 posts in 5273 days

#11 posted 04-02-2008 06:12 PM

good luck Bob, wish you a speedy recovery. Be sure to let us know how you are feeling



-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Zipsss's profile


213 posts in 5404 days

#12 posted 04-02-2008 06:38 PM

You still have the right arm to work with. So show us your next “one arm “project.

-- Zipsss

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 5165 days

#13 posted 04-02-2008 07:00 PM

I couldn’t read this without cringing… good luck with a speedy, full recovery.

-- Happy woodworking!

View AHolmes's profile


6 posts in 4997 days

#14 posted 04-02-2008 07:01 PM


View HAP HANSON's profile


45 posts in 5102 days

#15 posted 04-02-2008 09:47 PM

Surgery will most likey be the easy part the recovery and rehab will be tough – i’ve repaired a ton of tendons in dogs/cats and I know its a tough rehab process – best of luck to you!!

-- Doc Hanson

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