Connecting the biceps muscle to the bone, the bicep tendon enables individuals to perform a number of functions, while also providing stability to the shoulder. When a biceps tendon is strongly attached to the bone, movements are executed easily and without pain. Yet, in the case of a bicep tendon rupture, the tendon becomes completely detached from the bone and certain movements are impaired and painful. This is because the muscle cannot pull on the bone to initiate movement.
Very Well Health discusses the two types of biceps tendon ruptures, which are proximal and distal. A proximal biceps tendon rupture is an injury to the biceps tendon near or at the shoulder joint, also referred to as the long head of the biceps tendon. As the most common type of biceps tendon injury, it occurs more often in the elderly population. This is likely a result of small tears that already exist in the muscle (due to overuse). As such, symptoms associated with a proximal biceps tendon rupture are relatively mild.
On the other hand, a distal biceps tendon rupture occurs around the elbow joint, and is most prevalent among middle-aged men performing heavy lifting or sports activities. Without question, this type of injury can produce significant pain and weakness near the rupture. An individual might experience difficulty turning his or her palm up or down, along with bruising and a protrusion near the elbow.
When a biceps tendon rupture occurs, non-surgical treatment is often an option, particularly when the tear is partial and is located on the top bicep tendon. Yet, in the case of a distal biceps tendon rupture, an individual may opt to have surgery to repair the tendon. This is especially true of those that are eager to return to their active lifestyle.
Dr. Kerisimasi Reynolds is an elite orthopedic surgeon in the Silicon Valley, and is fellowship-trained in sports medicine and advanced arthroscopy. As such, Dr. Masi, as his patients call him, focuses on minimally invasive treatments for the elbow, hip, knee and shoulder. If you believe that you’ve suffered a biceps tendon tear or rupture, call Dr. Masi today to schedule an appointment and learn about your options for treatment.