When to Recognize You May Have a Biceps Tear

When to Recognize You May Have a Biceps Tear

August 4, 2015

The biceps is the muscle on the front of your arm that allows you to move your shoulder and elbow.  It has two heads: one long and one short.  The long head of the biceps begins in the shoulder joint and sometimes, either through trauma or regular wear and tear, it can burst.  Patients will often report a strong “pop” when lifting and then a large amount of swelling and bruising.  Normally, a split of the biceps will cause a change in the shape of the arm that may remind you of Popeye’s.

The management of long head biceps bursts can range from surface management to surgical repair and rebuilding.  Initially, a period of rest, activity changes, and then a slowly increasing exercise program to strengthen the shoulder and arm are recommended.  In patients with persistent pain, weakness, or a serious inability to move the arm normally, repair or connecting of the tendon to the upper arm may be required.


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