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Biceps Tendon Rupture

Brett Cascio, M.D.

Biceps Tendon Rupture

Biceps Tendon Rupture

What is Biceps Tendon Rupture

The upper part of the biceps muscle divides into two sections named the long head and the short head. The long head travels over the head of the humerus to attach to the glenoid, the socket in which the head of the humerus rests. The short head goes in front of the humerus, attaching to the coracoid on the shoulder blade. Biceps tendon rupture is a condition in which one of the tendons responsible for anchoring the biceps muscle to the shoulder is torn.

What causes Biceps Tendon Rupture?

Rupture of the biceps tendon can be caused by a variety of reasons. One of the most common ways to rupture the biceps tendon is though trauma, like from a sudden impact. Another common cause of biceps tendon rupture is through repetitive motions, like throwing. Because of this, biceps tendon rupture can often be seen in athletes.

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Symptoms of biceps tendon rupture vary depending on the degree of the tear, but can include sharp shoulder pain. You may experience a snapping sound, and in some cases, the muscle will bulge above the elbow. This is due to the muscle pulling down and away from the shoulder. Your physician will perform a physical and review your medical history to diagnose this condition. Imaging tests may also be used to confirm the diagnosis.

How is Biceps Tendon Rupture Treated?

Depending on the severity of the tear, treatment options vary. Partial tears may respond well to conservative treatments like rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy. Surgery may be required if the tear is severe.

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Please see a healthcare professional for medical advice. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

All materials copyright © 2024, All Rights Reserved.

Dr. Cascio, medical director of Sports Medicine at Lake Charles Memorial Hospital, specializes in Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.



Brett Cascio M.D.


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