tothemax -- Greetings from just down the road a little ways.
Youâ€™ve encountered the perpetual dilemma of the partial tear:
On the one hand, I think that surgeon 2 has a good point. With only a partial tear, the tendon is prevented from retracting, and so this buys you time to decide whether or not you want surgery. Why not just worry about it if and when it finally lets loose? On the other hand, youâ€™ll need to treat that arm with extreme caution over the next several weeks at least, and, as surgeon 1 has pointed out, you never know what result youâ€™ll end up with -- you may just be prolonging your misery as you watch the arm atrophy, only to suffer a rupture a few months from now once you start strengthening it again. I donâ€™t think there are too many of us here who are satisfied with just sitting there and watching an arm shrink, especially if the outcome is uncertain. As for me, it took me a whole five days to turn my partial tear into a full rupture, and so I made it easy on myself (well, sort of).
I donâ€™t mean to make light of your situation, but I donâ€™t think there are any really good answers here, especially if the extent of the tear is undetermined. Estimates of tear % from MRIâ€™s are notoriously unreliable. Often the recommendation is to go for surgery if the tear is >50% of the thickness of the tendon. See this reference
. Some people have done well in rehabbing a more minor partial tear. Perhaps the best example is a guy named Mike in NYC from the old topix.com forum. In the end, I think the decision rests with you and you alone, but maybe give it a couple weeks of thought. (Now, in re-reading your post, I see you've already decided on this.)
By the way, what sorts of curls were you doing? Quite a few people on the forum -- including myself -- did the damage on the preacher bench.
Also, here is a recommendation for a tendon-healing supplement recipe (to be taken "several" times a day -- I'm just quoting it essentially verbatim). It comes from a poster ("pumbertot") on the pec tendon rupture forum at topix.com. Some people here and elsewhere swear by cissus quadrangularis as a miracle supplement of sorts:
1/2 tsp vit C powder
1 tsp cissus quadrangularis
1 tsp edible gelatine (same amino acid profile as in joints)
1 tsp AAKG (nitric oxide has been shown to improve tendon/ligament healing)
1 tsp glucosamine powder
1 tsp MSM powder
1/4 tsp beta alanine (has also shown promise in tendon healing)