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Biceps tear (Distal Biceps Repair)

What is it?

  • The biceps muscle has two tendons which insert into the shoulder.
  • These muscles allow you to bend the elbow and rotate the arm.
  • A biceps tendon tear at the elbow is generally less common than a biceps tendon tear at the shoulder.

What are the symptoms?

  • Popping sounds at injury
  • This kind of injury often occurs on heavy lifting
  • Pain, tenderness and weakness at the shoulder or elbow
  • Trouble turning the palms face up or face down
  • Bruising
  • Bulging above the elbow
  • Sharp and sudden pain near the elbow

 What is the treatment?

  • A severe biceps tendon tear needs prompt treatment as the distal biceps tendon cannot regrow back to the bone and heal itself.
  • Permanent weakness can occur if the tendon is not repaired surgically and a deformed and high riding biceps muscle can cause you to lose more than half of your elbow strength.
  • For these reasons, surgical repair is most effective within first two weeks of symptoms.
  • There is about a 3 month recovery post surgery.