How Does A Bicep Tendon Rupture?

January 30, 2024

Most of us are used to carrying multiple grocery bags on one arm. The goal is to avoid making a second trip to the car and then getting back home to stock up on groceries. But as relieving as it is to carry everything in one go, did you know that putting too much pressure and weight on your arms can lead to a bicep tendon rupture?

You’ve probably heard of an elbow strain or forearm pain, but a tendon rupture is far more serious. However, lifting heavy things is not the only cause of this tear. To learn more about a bicep tendon rupture, make sure to keep reading this blog.

What is a Bicep Tendon Rupture?

A biceps tendon rupture is a serious injury that arises when your distal bicep tendon gets torn, leading to pain and swelling in the shoulder and elbow. It mainly depends on the rupture. For instance, if it’s a partial tear, some rest and medication will help heal the injury over time. However, if the tendon is completely torn off from the bone, there may be a lot of pain. You may have to get surgery to treat it.

It is important to keep in mind that distal biceps tendon ruptures are typically uncommon. It’s not usual for someone to rip their arm’s tendon, which is why it takes a big injury or a lot of pressure on the tendon to rupture it.

At first, right after the tear, you may feel weakness in your upper arm and find it difficult to rotate properly. The swelling can temporarily freeze your arm, too, especially if you feel a “pop” when the tendon tears.

What Causes a Bicep Tendon to Tear?

A bicep tendon rupture, also known as a bicep rupture, can be caused by many factors. However, two of the most common reasons behind the tear are as follows:

  1. Accidental Injury
    If you fall hard on an outstretched arm with a big impact, it could cause the tendon to tear.
  2. Overusing the Muscle
    When you subject your arm to constant overuse, such as in sports that require repetitive movement on the bicep in the shoulder or elbow, it can give way to a tendon tear.
  3. Lifting Heavy Items
    Injuries to the biceps tendon at the elbow usually occur when the elbow is forced straight against a heavy load, such as lifting a heavy box. This can create excess wear and tear on the tendons.
  4. Wear and Tear According to Age
    The older you get, the more worn down your tendons get. This is why it is more common for older people to suffer from a bicep tendon rupture.
  5. Smoking Tobacco
    Nicotine is known to be bad for your health. Smoking too much can affect the strength and quality of your tendons and muscles.

How to Treat a Bicep Tendon Rupture

The treatment of a bicep tendon rupture depends on the severity and location of the injury. In most cases, the R.I.C.E method of resting, icing, compression, and elevation work best. You can also try anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and swelling. Alternatively, for more serious cases, surgical treatment might also work, such as a minimally invasive shoulder arthroscopy. Nevertheless, for a more personalized and accurate diagnosis, make sure to consult Mufaddal Gombera, MD. With his experience and expertise, he will create a treatment plan that is best suited to your needs.

Final Takeaway

To put it briefly, a bicep tendon rupture is a tear that occurs on the distal bicep tendon. Depending on the cause behind it, the tear could be serious, which is why seeking prompt treatment is crucial. For more information, feel free to contact Mufaddal Gombera, MD, at (713) 794-3457.

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Dr. Gombera

Dr. Gombera, earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed his orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Michigan. Expanding his expertise, he undertook a sports medicine and arthroscopy fellowship at Northwestern University in Chicago. Recognized as a Super Doctors Rising Star and honored for patient care excellence at the University of Michigan, he holds multiple certifications and licenses, solidifying his dedication to delivering exceptional medical services.



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