Biceps Tendon Injury

A biceps tendon injury can refer to damage or strain to the tendons associated with the biceps muscle in the shoulder joint, upper arm or near the elbow joint.

The biceps muscle has two tendons, the long head, and the short head, which connect the muscle to bones in the shoulder and elbow. Injuries to these tendons can occur in different ways and can be categorized into two main types:

Biceps Tendonitis: This condition involves inflammation of the biceps tendon. It can result from overuse, repetitive movements, or sudden strain on the tendon. Common symptoms of biceps tendonitis include pain in the front of the shoulder and upper arm, especially when lifting or reaching overhead. Rest, ice, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications are often used to manage this condition. Certain people with advanced biceps tendinopathy might require surgical intervention.

Biceps Tendon Rupture: A biceps tendon rupture occurs when the tendon partially or completely tears. This can happen due to sudden trauma, such as heavy lifting or a fall, or it can be a result of gradual wear and tear over time. A complete rupture typically causes a "Popeye" deformity in the arm, where the biceps muscle bunches up near the middle of the arm. Depending on the location of the tendon rupture, the ruptures are divided into:

1. Rupture of the long head of biceps tendon

  • Occur at its origin near the shoulder joint
  • Complaints of pain mainly at the shoulder
  • Can have varying amount of weakness of shoulder and arm sometimes.

2. Distal biceps tendon rupture

  • Here the rupture occurs at the distal insertion of the biceps tendon near the elbow.
  • Usually the patients develop a swelling in the mid arm due to bunching up of the muscle due to the torn tendon. Most active people require Surgical repair .

Treatment for biceps tendon injuries may involve:

  • Rest: Avoiding activities that exacerbate the injury.
  • Ice: Applying ice to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Physical Therapy: Strengthening exercises to improve the stability and function of the shoulder.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications: Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Corticosteroid Injections: In some cases, corticosteroid injections may be used to reduce inflammation.
  • Surgery: For complete ruptures or severe injuries, surgical repair may be necessary. There are different surgical techniques, including tenodesis (reattaching the tendon to a different location) and tenotomy (cutting the tendon) for proximal tendon tears. Distal biceps tendon ruptures require repair or reconstruction.

It's essential to consult us or another healthcare professional, such as an orthopedic surgeon or a sports medicine specialist, if you suspect a biceps tendon injury. We perform a thorough evaluation, including imaging studies like Ultrasound / MRI, to determine the extent of the injury and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan tailored to your specific condition. Early diagnosis and intervention can help improve outcomes and prevent further complications.

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