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What are Distal Biceps Tendon Ruptures?

The bicep muscle group is composed of two separate heads: the long head and the short head. These muscles begin at the shoulder and insert on the radius. Their function at the elbow is to supinate the forearm and to flex the elbow.

A biceps tendon may be ruptured through strenuous physical activity or through acute trauma. Excessive force has the possibility to injure the tendon, causing it to retract or spasm painfully.

Signs and Symptoms of Biceps Tendon Ruptures

Biceps tendon ruptures are usually diagnosed through a physical exam. The injured extremity may reveal significant bruising, swelling, and deformity to the elbow, forearm, or upper arm.

Many patients also report pain and a limited range of motion as a result of this injury, making it integral that they see a specialized provider to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan as soon as possible.

X-rays and MRIs can also aid in visualizing the extent of damage sustained to the muscle, tendon, and bone.

Causes of Distal Biceps Tendon Ruptures

A rupture to the bicep tendon can occur at the elbow. These ruptures commonly occur when the bicep meets excessive force while attempting to catch something during a sports activity, or when they fall.

Most injuries occur when the elbow is in a flexed position, such as when someone is doing bicep curls with heavy weights at the gym or during a sports activity. Patients should always be mindful of how much they are realistically capable of lifting in order to maintain correct body posture in order to avoid this injury.

Treatment Options for Biceps Tendon Ruptures

Treatment options vary from anti-inflammatories, corticosteroid injections, and physical therapy, to surgical intervention. Surgery is typically only considered when a patient’s pain is not alleviated despite conservative measures.

Conservative Treatments

Bicep tendon ruptures have the possibility of being treated conservatively with anti-inflammatories and physical therapy, depending on the severity of the injury.

A sling should be worn to keep the arm in a relaxed state to promote healing and avoid further stressing the affected region.

Surgical Treatments

This injury typically requires surgical intervention to restore range of motion and strength to the elbow.

It is an open surgical procedure performed on an outpatient basis. The tendon is summarily reattached to the radius bone with sutures or anchored with sutures.

Prognosis for Biceps Tendon Ruptures

Patients can typically look forward to a healing period of one year. Limitations on weight and movement are varied, based on the level of complexity required during the repair. Surgery requires the use of a post-operative sling for 4-6 weeks.

Physical therapy focuses on restoring range of motion and strengthening activities.

If You Believe You Have Biceps Tendon Ruptures, Contact HandSport Surgery Institute

Please contact us as soon as possible to schedule an appointment with our talented
team. People experiencing Biceps Tendon Ruptures should be evaluated to try and
prevent further injury and mobility issues.

If you have been injured, it’s important to be evaluated by a highly skilled professional. Call Drs. Mark and Jason Pruzansky at 212-249-8700 to schedule an appointment and obtain an accurate diagnosis.

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